City hall roof, clock tower discussed

WELLSBURG — Plans to replace the roof at city hall and its clock tower were among matters before Wellsburg Council on Tuesday.

Council referred to its finance committee bids of $107,100 from Kalkreuth Roofing of Wheeling for the new roof and removal of the old one, as well as $4,600 for a platform for a new clock tower.

Pending that panel’s approval, council made plans for a special meeting on Oct. 24 to accept the bids.

Members of council said the committee should ascertain the funding source for the project. Revenue from the city’s recently raised municipal service fee and coal severance funds were cited as possibilities.

In related business, council approved architectural drawings for the new clock tower submitted by Campbellsville Industries Inc.

In August council approved a $68,446 contract with the Campbellsville, Ky., business for the delivery and installation of the new tower.

“As you can see, it’s pretty similar to the old one,” City Manager Steve Maguschak told council.

Like the original tower, the new one will have four clocks facing north, south, west and east, but with a powder coated aluminum surface that will better withstand the elements, Maguschak said.

The city’s contract with Campbellsville states the tower will be 20 feet high, from base to dome, with clock faces 3 to 4 feet in diameter and bearing 4-inch long numerals.

Dr. Patricia McCreary, a Wellsburg native who recently returned to the city following her retirement, has donated $100,000 for it.

The old clock tower was removed in November, and the opening was capped because it was believed to be the source of leaks into city hall.

Mayor Sue Simonetti said the move has helped to alleviate the leaks but they still occur, hence the need for the new roof.

In other business, council approved a grant application for several million dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to divert heavy runoff from streams above High Street and Pleasant Avenue toward the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Simonetti said the grant requires a 25 percent match that may be met with state funds, pending their availability.

She said during heavy rainfall, the water floods areas of Pleasant Avenue and side streets and in winter, creates an icy hazard.

Maguschak said the goal is to channel the water to a retaining pond near the sewer plant, which has the capacity to treat and discharge it.

If approved by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the move could eliminate the need for some costly sanitary and stormwater sewer separations, he said.

Council also heard from Steve Lauck and other members of the Wellsburg 4th of July Committee, who told council they received complaints that this year’s fireworks display couldn’t be seen from some areas of the city. He noted in addition to those gathered at the Betty Carr Recreation Site, many residents enjoy seeing the fireworks from their homes. But Lauck said the group has learned fireworks shot from larger shells can ascend higher and will order them next year at no more cost than before.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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