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Work on Berkeley County's new public safety building delayed again

July 18, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The absence of bidders for flooring work in Berkeley County’s new public safety building has again delayed the facility’s completion, a county official said Thursday.

With no bids to open at a Berkeley County Council meeting, the new headquarters for the sheriff’s law-enforcement division might not be done until “the first of the year,” Berkeley County Councilman Douglas E. Copenhaver said after the council’s regular weekly meeting.

Officials were projecting the work would be done by October, but only one contractor attended a mandatory prebid meeting in response to the county’s second advertised request for proposals, and that party ultimately decided not to bid, Copenhaver said.

Renovations to the former Martin’s grocery store at 510 S. Raleigh St. for the sheriff’s department’s 36,000-square-foot headquarters began in October 2011, Copenhaver said.

Given unsuccessful bidding results, county officials began exploring whether they could get the project done by pursuing a contractor who has a contract to do flooring for the state government.

Council attorney Norwood Bentley III said the county doesn’t legally have to pursue the state contract option, but noted it is the most legally cautious thing to do given the circumstances. 

The council on Thursday separately voted to spend up to $80,000 to scan and digitize certain law-enforcement division records so they don’t have to be moved into the new building.

Some of the records in question have a musty odor, and mold problems also have been found, Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster said.

The records have been stored in a container that isn’t climate-controlled, because Lemaster said he has no where else to store them.

The sheriff’s department currently doesn’t have capability to scan its records, which it must keep for seven years before purging them, Lemaster said.

The department also keeps records for capital murder cases, Lemaster said. 

Officials have estimated more than a million pages of material need to be scanned.

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