Berkeley County sustains growth

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Although West Virginia showed a loss in population in the recent census, one bright spot for the Mountain State was Berkeley County.

“For the last four years we’ve been adding 13 to 14 hundred new addresses a year, that’s 2.5 people for every new address and it comes to about 3500 people per year coming into Berkeley County,” said Doug Copenhaver, President of the Berkeley County Council.

Copenhaver recently spoke on MetroNews Talkline about the figures. He credited several things for the area’s growth. He indicated the county is very business friendly and the reputation has grown. The county’s proximity to a lot of the east coast population is helpful and they benefit from those fleeing the big cities looking at a more relaxed lifestyle.

“A good thing, and at the same time a sad thing, West Virginia is no secret any more. It’s a good quality of life and it’s a good change,” he explained.

Copenhaver added however with growth comes growing pains. He said Berkeley County is trying to deal with several of those along the way.

“They expect paid fire fighters and more police officers. We’re blessed to have great volunteers and great law enforcement, but people expect more of that. The other thing that the whole state is dealing with is broadband,” he explained.

Surprisingly, Copenhaver estimated half of those living in Berkeley County do not have access to broadband internet service.

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