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Agency seeks bond power to fix county courthouses

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- A state agency says most of West Virginia's 55 county courthouses need repairs or improvements. But there isn't enough funding to do all the projects.The West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvements Authority receives about $2 million annually from various courthouse fees, such as marriage licenses. The authority says it could stretch those dollars if it could issue bonds.
A plan presented to a legislative interim committee would allow the authority to invest half of its annual income in bonds.Executive director Melissa Garretson Smith tells The Register-Herald that most of the courthouses were built more than 50 years ago. The only courthouse that doesn't need any work is in Morgan County. A fire destroyed the county's courthouse in 2007 and a new structure was built. 
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