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Remaining Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority members determined to press on

June 18, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Defections of board members, no meeting minutes, no knowledge of current financial conditions, no one to sign checks and not enough chairs for members were among the woes facing the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority at its meeting Tuesday.

Though seemingly rudderless, the five remaining roundhouse authority members were determined to get the authority back on the course of redeveloping the historic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad roundhouse and shop complex into a significant community facility.

Recruitment of new members is the top priority, members said Tuesday.

The board is authorized to seat 21 members, said Elaine Mauck, the Berkeley County Council’s representative on the authority.

Before the exodus that began in March with the resignations of longtime board Chairman Clarence E. “CEM” Martin and his wife, Judy, the board’s secretary, the board had 13 members, Mauck said.

Members who resigned in recent weeks were Vice Chairman Roger Lewis, Treasurer Richard Paden, member Lisa Dirting and Executive Director Rosetta Chiofalo.

Member Laura Gassler volunteered to serve as interim chairman until permanent officers can be elected.

The members also agreed to pay existing bills, most of which are owed to area businesses.

Since 1999, the authority raised and spent more than $8 million restoring the roundhouse, which was built in the late 1860s to replace one destroyed in the Civil War. The complex is on the National Register.

Member Jeff Hollis said that over the years, the previous board “got us where we are — fixed up, stable and useable, the basic core. Now that it’s protected, we all have the feeling that there’s much more we need to do.”

“We need a long-term goal,” Gassler said.

The members went into executive session to work on the authority’s finances.

Their next meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Newberry Executive Center, 142 N. Queen St. in Martinsburg.

Mauck said anyone interested in joining the board should contact her.

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