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Berkeley Co. fires assistant county engineer

Former Jefferson Co. engineer to fill county engineer job

July 15, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Commission on Thursday fired an assistant county engineer who was unable to pass an examination for professional engineer certification and tapped former Jefferson County engineer Kimberly J. Shrader to fill the vacant county engineer job.

The termination of Kian H. Liong, employed with the county since August 2008, was made effective July 30.

Shrader's employment was made effective July 19 and she will be paid $70,000 per year, officials said.

Liong was making about $68,000, but would have received a raise if he had passed the exam, County Commissioner William L. "Bill" Stubblefield said.

The commissioners in January delayed hiring a replacement for former county engineer William J. "Bucky" Teach, who retired at the end of 2009, to give Liong more time to obtain the professional engineer certification.

The county is required to have a professional engineer on staff, commission legal counsel Norwood Bentley III said after the meeting. Bentley said he talked to the West Virginia Attorney General's office over several months, as well as the state licensing board for professional engineers, about the requirement.

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Shrader will work under Stefanie Miller, who was named director of the newly created Department of Land Use Planning & Engineering. Miller was the county's planning department director before taking the helm of consolidated planning, engineering and building permit offices.

In her resume, Shrader said she had more than 26 years of experience in design and construction of public and private development projects and had worked in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

In separate action Thursday, commissioners adopted a policy for waiving various fees charged by the Land Use Planning & Engineering Department.

Under the policy, the commission may entertain waiver requests by Internal Revenue Service-recognized nonprofit organizations, government agencies and "for projects that are planned and carried out by student, Scouting or similar beneficent or educational organizations or participants."

"This policy does not contemplate the waiver of fees for and on behalf of churches or places of worship," the policy states.

After adopting the policy, commissioners decided to grant a waiver that had been requested by Dakota Oliver, a member of Boy Scout Troop 413 in Bunker Hill, W.Va.

Oliver had asked the county to waive $457.36 in building permit fees that would have been collected as part of his Eagle Scout project to build a pavilion at a Bunker Hill, W.Va., church.

In other personnel action Thursday, commissioners approved the termination of Berkeley County Central Dispatch employees Donna C. Myers and Korey Haddix for disciplinary reasons. Myers was employed in June 2009 and Haddix was employed in February 2010, according to Deputy County Administrator Alan Davis.

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