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Armory funding option announced

October 6, 2012
By Melissa Toothman Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

A funding option for the National Guard Armory and a proposed conference and convention center was announced during this week's Buckhannon City Council meeting.

City Treasurer Michael Doss said there is an opportunity to seek funding through the United States Department of Agriculture for a community facilities direct loan application program.

Council authorized Mayor Kenneth Davidson to sign an agreement with Steptoe & Johnson for council in the amount of $15,000.

"This is basically a preapplication," Doss said during Thursday's meeting. "The major portion of the application will come later on, but we have to get the (preapplication) in with some comments from the development office."

Through the Building Commission, the city of Buckhannon proposes that $750,000 be borrowed to assist with development of the proposed conference and convention center facility. The loan would be on a term of up to 40 years at a fixed interest rate of 3.5 percent, with no early payment penalty and the advantage of a lower cost of issuance.

The USDA has its own counsel, meaning orientation or placement fees will not be charged. The bond counsel fees are lower than that of public funding sources, and there are no commercial banking fees associated with the program, Doss added.

City Engineer Jay Hollen announced the remaining right-of-way agreement for the project was secured.

"All of them have been executed, recorded; and I'll be able to submit my plans and specifications for the Army National Guard waterline, hopefully, by the end of this month," Hollen said.

Doss also said he completed an application for the Brushy Fork minor-boundary-adjustment annexation for the proposed National Guard Armory, and it is ready for submission to the Upshur County Commission.

"We're actually going to go around the Brushy Fork Creek line," Doss said. "We've annexed, on the advice of our attorney, a 15-foot strip of right of way and easement to be annexed into the city of Buckhannon."

Hollen said the annexation corridor will follow the waterline, not the stream located in the area. Doss said annexation would continue to the National Guard property and to the property owned by the Upshur County Commission and Development Authority.

In other business, Doss reported the city received a notice that $150,000 in funding was not awarded from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

"We did receive several comments in the grant review that were provided, and we intend to make future application for the project," Doss said.

Also, Hollen reported the Island Avenue water line has been "put on hold," and the design is completed.

"I'd like to get that design approved and ready to go, so that when we do decide to start that up, it's wrapped up and ready to go to construction," Hollen said, adding the water line "can sit on the shelf for up to three years."

Hollen said a second cleaning of the basin at the Water Treatment Plant and Distribution System will take place later this month.



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