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Public Works OKs transfer of Charleston street to state, armories to counties

Jefferson Street from Washington Street East to the railroad right-of-way is now state property, after the state Board of Public Works approved accepting the gift from the city of Charleston.

The side street, just east of the Capitol complex, will be closed to allow expansion of the Capitol complex chiller plant, an upgrade that is expected to save the state $200,000 to $300,000 a year in costs of cooling and heating buildings on the Capitol grounds, board members were advised.

The board, made up of statewide executive branch elected officials and the state superintendent of schools, also approved property transfers of two former National Guard armories.

In Logan, the former armory will be deeded to the county Board of Education, to be used for offices and a county school bus garage. In Salem, in Harrison County, the armory will become a community center.

Also Thursday, the board:

  • Agreed not to assess Virginia Power Energy Service Corporation, a subsidiary of Dominion Energy that markets, buys, and sells natural gas for electric power plants as a utility.

Jeff Amburgey, director of the state Property Tax Division, agreed that the natural gas broker had been erroneously listed as a public utility — which under state law includes railroads, airlines, bus companies, and telephone and cell phone service providers, in addition to electric, natural gas, and water and sewer companies.

Under the law, the state Tax Division assesses the value of property owned by public utilities, assessments that are approved annually by the board.

After meeting in executive session, authorized outside counsel to settle two lawsuits filed against the board regarding property assessments by Shenandoah Communications, a cable, internet and telephone provider doing business as Shentel, and by the Kanawha River Railroad.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1220 or follow @PhilKabler on Twitter.

Funerals for Sunday, August 18, 2019

Combs, Amy - 5 p.m., Bible Center Church, Charleston.

Michael, Sherry - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.

Morrison, Ray - 2 p.m., Morris Funeral Home, Cowen.

Smith, Robert - 3 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Stump. Arleen - 1 p.m., Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.

Wright, Gary - 2 p.m., Preston Funeral Home, Charleston.