In an effort to assist in development and address concerns of the new Buckhannon Army National Guard Readiness Center, Buckhannon Council members on Tuesday approved tabling annexation plans of the Brushy Fork area until after the first phase of the project is complete.
National Guard personnel expressed concerned over the possibility of contractors being required to obtain city permits and pay B&O fees, and the financial impact it may have on those contractors.
It was believed the annexation before phase one may have set the project back six months to a year as additional costs would call for a redesign.
The city will proceed with the annexation portion of the project after contracts for the first phase of the readiness center has been awarded. Contractors in phase two and three will be subject to obtaining city permits and paying B&O fees.
"I seek to alleviate the Guard's concerns about that financial impact, and hereby propose our city's strategy will negate any such impact upon the first construction phase," Mayor Kenny Davidson said in a letter to Major General James A. Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia Army National Guard.
Davidson said the move to annex the property that will house the readiness center is an effort to legitimize the city's contribution to the project.
The new readiness center will be located on Brushy Fork Road with the city contributing approximately $850,000 and possibly more.
The new Readiness Center will include a convention center as part of its construction to be utilized by local groups for events including business functions, conventions, and workshops.
The current armory is located within the corporate limits of Buckhannon.
Davidson said officials have been diligently engaged in utility design work while pursuing utility rights of way that include annexation commitments from all affected property owners.
Davidson said the city water board is continuing in its most expedient efforts to realize the construction and delivery of a 12-inch waterline to the Readiness Center site with the completion date of the waterline project on or before May 1, 2013.
During discussions Councilwoman Pam Cuparri said she felt others in the county should also pay their fair share for the project.
Davidson pointed out the Upshur County Commission is currently paying $60,000 a year to cover some related costs and the Upshur County Development Authority is responsible for $1.4 million loan related to the project.
Councilman Dave Thomas said it should be noted the National Guard is paying 50 percent of the project cost.
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