Berkeley County Commission briefs

December 19, 2010

Firm chosen to study pedestrian-bicycle path

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Engineering firm William H. Gordon Associates Inc. was tapped by the Berkeley County Commission Thursday to prepare a study for building a pedestrian-bicycle path along Edwin Miller Boulevard just outside the City of Martinsburg.

The firm’s $14,000 proposal was among five received by a group of business owners on the edge of the city’s north end that pushed for the pedestrian-safety project.

The county commission agreed in October to administer Berkeley County’s portion of a $50,000 grant that has been divided equally between Morgan and Jefferson counties.


Kathy Mason, the Berkeley County Development Authority’s business programs manager, notified County Administrator Deborah Hammond Tuesday that the engineering firm’s study would be used to apply for a Transportation Enhancement Grant to complete the project.

If funded and feasible, the pedestrian path would be built on the south side of Edwin Miller Boulevard between Trooper Drive and Forbes Drive. There are 375 apartment units in relative close proximity to that side of Edwin Miller Boulevard, Mason has said.

The proposed path would tie into a bicycle-pedestrian path that is included in plans for the yet-to-be-built Raleigh Street Extension, which will extend between Edwin Miller Boulevard and West Race Street.

County officials consider lawsuit over paving

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County officials are considering filing suit against a developer who they believe should help pay for paving a road that was added to the state road system this fall.

Berkeley County Land Use Planning and Engineering Director Stefanie Miller is expected to ask the county planning commission in its meeting Monday night to file a lawsuit concerning Mt. Carmel Road.

The planning commission meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Miller told Berkeley County commissioners last week that the planning commission approved plans for a subdivision project served by Mt. Carmel road more than five years ago, but did not require the developer to pave the road.

"The developer said the state owned it, the state said it only owned the first tenth of a mile," Miller said of the ownership dispute. State highway officials eventually determined that only about 600 feet of Mt. Carmel Road had been added to the state road system, not the entire length of the road, Miller said.

After the entire road was added to the state’s road system this fall, Miller said the state DOH in November 2010 agreed to provide labor and equipment to pave the road with the county bearing the cost of paving materials.

The DOH estimated the cost of paving materials for the project was $76,441, according to a Dec. 8 memo from DOH District 5 Engineer J. Lee Thorne. County Commission Legal Counsel Norwood Bentley told commissioners that the developer tried to convey the road to the state, but it was never added.

With no guarantee that a lawsuit would be successful, Miller said she also would request that the money for paving the road be incorporated in her budget for the next fiscal year.

On Oct. 7, Miller told county commissioners that the state issued 14 entry permits along Mt. Carmel Road as if it were entirely part of the state road system.

The developer could not be immediately reached for comment Friday afternoon.

— Matthew Umstead

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