Weirton park board eyes fields


Staff writer

WEIRTON – Though the high school baseball season is over, the city’s parks and recreation board is hoping to keep Bowman Field in tip-top shape at least through the end of July.

This year, the park board teamed with Madonna High School and the Hancock County Board of Education to pay an individual $4,500 to prepare and maintain the field and its facilities. More than satisfied with the work he’d done, at Thursday’s meeting board members said they’d like to see the individual continue to oversee field conditions at least through the end of July, when Bowman Field will play host to some of the teams entered in the annual Beast of the East baseball tournament.

“I think we have to keep on it,” the field’s namesake, former State Sen. Ed Bowman, said. “We want that field in tip-top shape for Beast of the East. It’s a very big event that brings in people from all over. It’s one time you want that field to be in tip-top shape.”

In other action, park board staff members are to meet with the Marland Heights Community Association to ensure the group has a special one-time insurance policy for its May 25 jazz concert/wine tasting.

The wine tasting is included in the cost of tickets. The group will not be selling alcohol, but concert-goers will be sampling various wines. Because the event is being held on city property, board members said having insurance is critical.

“We need to get the community association, Deb (Witkowski) and staff together immediately and work something out,” Bowman said, pointing out that, had the group been selling alcohol in any form, the community group would have had to persuade Police Chief Bruce Marshall or Mayor George Kondik to OK their application for a special state beer license. Several months ago Marshall had declined to allow alcohol to be sold during a boxing tournament originally booked at Millsop Community Center, forcing the promoter to move the event to the Serbian-American Cultural Center.

The board initially expected Weirton Rotary to oversee next week’s wine sampling, assuming the club had a special license to dispense alcohol, “but they don’t,” board member Witkowski said, adding she nonetheless “(doesn’t) want it to come out the park board pulled the plug” on the fundraiser.