Redevelopment, park grants discussed

WELLSBURG – City Council on Tuesday agreed to apply for a federal grant to target areas of the city for redevelopment and approved a match required for a state grant to provide additional lighting at the Betty Carr Recreation Site.

City Manager Mark Henne said he will apply for a $50,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to develop a comprehensive plan to promote development in the city and a blight plan to identify former industrial sites and other properties that require rehabilitation.

Henne said if the city receives the full amount sought, it will be required to provide a $50,000 match. The move is part of an ongoing effort to find new uses for vacant industrial sites and buildings in the city.

With the help of the Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning Council, an arm of the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission, the city’s redevelopment authority secured two $5,000 grants to assess and improve the Brooke Glass site at Sixth Street.

The board, which meets at noon on the second Tuesday of each month at City Hall, has invited the public to share ideas for the location.

A restaurant, community center and glass museum covering the more than 30 glass factories that once operated in the city all have been suggested.

In related business, council appointed 2nd Ward Councilman Ron Michaux to the redevelopment authority following the departure from it by Steve Mitchell Sr.

Council also agreed to provide a 10 percent match for a $7,178 Governor’s Community Participation Grant received for additional lighting at the Betty Carr Recreation Site.

Mayor Sue Simonetti said the grant will allow the city to put in a 30-foot pole with three 1,000-watt floodlights near the center of the park and a conduit for a video camera there. The move will serve evening activities in the warmer months and deter vandalism.

In related business, 2nd Ward Councilman Paul T. Billiard said the portable ice rink placed at the park recently was damaged and must be dismantled until it can be determined if it can be repaired. Billiard said the ice had melted and 12 cuts, each about 12 inches, were made in the rink’s liner with skates. It was purchased by the city with $3,293 in local funds.

Council also:

Joined Simonetti and Henne in recognizing the winners of the city’s first Christmas home decorating contest.

The winners are Ed and Ruth Stein, 1st Ward; Randy and Vicki Smith, 2nd Ward; Bill and Debbie Welch, 3rd Ward; and James and Melissa Fisher, 4th Ward.

Recognized the Brooke High School cheerleaders for earning the school’s 13th state cheerleading championship, setting a state record for the school with the most wins.

Granted permission to the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum, which is based at the Brooke County Public Library, to hold a walk marking the 71st anniversary of the Bataan Death March at 5 p.m. April 9 from 12th Street near Rite Aid to Seventh Street and back.

Received a thank-you from Brooke County Salvation Army Commanders Ed and Goldie Long and the Salvation Army board for repairs made by city crews to the street near the Salvation Army Service Center at Commerce and Fourth streets.