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Martinsburg saves $100,000 on stormwater project

July 09, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --The Martinsburg City Council on Thursday unanimously approved an agreement with a Berkeley County contractor who successfully bid $667,269.30 for the "city center" stormwater project.

The work by Panhandle Builders & Excavating Inc., the low bidder among seven contractors to submit bids, is anticipated to be complete by the end of the year, according to City Engineer Michael Covell.

The enhancement of the city's stormwater diversion system was designed to address persistent flash flooding problems in the vicinity of Silver Lane, West Virginia and New York avenues.

Covell said the Berkeley County's judicial center at 380 South St. also will be a "major benefactor."

Pumps placed around the historic judicial center building have been needed to keep heavy rainfall from flooding the first floor of the structure.

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City Manager Mark Baldwin told City Council members on Thursday that the bid was almost $100,000 less than what was budgeted for the project, which he added has been nearly two years in the making.

The city had to obtain easements for installing stormwater pipe through the former Martin's grocery store and CVS/pharmacy shopping plaza now owned by the county and the historic Boydville estate.

The city also obtained site plan approval for a pumping station on the shopping plaza property along South Raleigh Street and had archaeological work done at the Boydville estate, a 13-acre property owned by the Berkeley County Farmland Protection Board in the 600 block of South Queen Street.

The archaeological investigation of the route for the discharge line prompted the city to go around an area at Boydville where artifacts were found.

Engineers working on the project told Baldwin in a letter that a historic stone wall on the property would be removed and reconstructed using the same stone after consulting with the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office.

Covell said there would be some disruption to traffic flow when the new pipeline crosses South Queen Street.

In other action on Thursday, the City Council authorized advertisement of paving work for South Alabama Avenue, from King to Stephen streets, and Bulldog Boulevard, from Raleigh to South Queen streets. Both projects are near schools and were separated from other paving projects that are expected to be advertised this year with the expectation that they will be done before school starts, Baldwin said.

Mayor George Karos and City Council also applauded the service of longtime water treatment plant crew chief James C. Campbell, who retired in June after 50 years of employment with the city's water department.

Karos presented a framed resolution of appreciation to family members of Campbell, who was unable to attend the meeting for medical reasons. Campbell began working for the city in May 1960, according to the resolution.

"Give him our best, please," Karos said after reading the resolution aloud.

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