Advertisement

Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority fails to file financial reports

Council members agreed to give the authority about 90 days to provide the information

July 28, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • Clarence E. "CEM" Martin III, Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority chairman is pictured in this Herald-Mail file photo. The Berkeley County Council decided Thursday to formally ask for financial statements from the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority, which was created in 1999 by an act of the state Legislature.
Herald-Mail file photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A public corporation created to restore and redevelop the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad roundhouse and shops in Martinsburg has failed to file annual financial reports with Berkeley County for several years, officials said Thursday.

The Berkeley County Council decided Thursday to formally ask for financial statements from the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority, which was created in 1999 by an act of the state Legislature.

When questioned by council members, County Administrator Deborah Hammond said that to her knowledge the roundhouse authority was the only county-appointed board or commission that has failed to file the required annual reports.

Hammond said after the meeting that informal requests were made for the annual reports in the past, but they were not filed.

Councilwoman Elaine Mauck, who serves as council's representative on the roundhouse authority board, pushed for a public hearing to be scheduled in October and a detailed accounting of all revenue and expenses, saying the information was not being made available to the public.

Council members agreed to give the authority about 90 days to provide the financial information.

Authority Chairman Clarence "CEM" Martin III, was out of town and unavailable for comment.

Martin's three-year term on what is now a five-member governing board for the authority is scheduled to expire on Sunday.

Mauck said after the meeting Thursday that she wants to receive full financial disclosure from the authority before taking any action on board appointments.

The board terms of Martin's wife, Judy Martin, and Richard Yauger, also expire at the end of this month.

"I'm trying to find an answer to get a large group of people working on it," Mauck said in the meeting.

"It has dwindled to such a small group, it is not adequate."

Mauck and three other council members attending Thursday's meeting all indicated they were invited by the authority to attend a meeting next month about the property's future.

Doug Copenhaver was absent.

While unable to get support from other council members for holding an October public meeting, Mauck said she received numerous phone calls from people who were interested in the project, but were not invited to the August meeting.

"The biggest problem is we don't have enough volunteers," said Mauck, who acknowledged her personal interest as a downtown business owner. "And we need a large quantity of volunteers to get it back and running."

Council President William L. "Bill" Stubblefield told Mauck that many of the council members share her frustration with the pace of efforts to redevelop the 13.6-acre property, but noted the 19th century buildings were in particularly bad shape, and it took considerable resources to stabilize them.

"It is a structurally sound building now ... they need to start moving forward," Stubblefield said.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|