Playground, paving Follansbee focus

OUTSTANDING SEASON — Last week, Follansbee Council congratulated the Follansbee Basehawgs for winning the Ohio Valley Youth Baseball League Bronco Division Championship and completing a 24-0 undefeated season in which they scored 314 runs and gave up just 53. On hand were, from left, front, bottom row, Mike Bachinski, head coach; Ben Ferguson, Anthony Bachinski, Owen Petrella and Gavin Moore; middle: Councilman Scott McMahon, Garrett Hornick, R.T. Tallman, Gavin “Truck” Hastings, Braelyn Sperringer, Breyson Hawkins and Councilman Rudy Cipriani; and back: Mayor David Velegol Jr., Councilmen John Casinelli and George Robinson, City Clerk David Kurcina, City Manager John DeStefano, City Attorney Michael Gaudio and Councilwoman Angela Kocher.

FOLLANSBEE — A joint effort by a local business and the city to improve the city’s playgrounds and a bid for street paving were among matters before Follansbee Council on Monday.

Mayor David Velegol Jr. said crews with American Muscle Docks and Fabrication of Wellsburg have completed repairs and improvements to the playground at Follansbee Park and are interested in doing more at the Highland Hills playground.

Council earlier agreed to supply about $1,500 in materials for the Follansbee Park repairs and on Monday approved $2,119 for materials for the Highland Hills park.

Following the meeting, Velegol said AMD crews replaced deteriorating wood platforms and secured loose railing on Follansbee Park’s one-piece playset, which includes a slide and climbing features, and added a rubber mat and artificial turf around the structure.

He said Luke Diserio, the business’ president, has agreed to do similar work at the Highland Hills park, including repairing benches and replacing the loose boards of a walking bridge in the playset with a straight plank.

Velegol noted AMD supplied picnic tables and benches for the city’s new ball fields last year.

First Ward Councilman George Robinson said Mahan Playground also is in need of repairs.

Velegol said the city’s beautification committee plans to repair the benches there and he would like to apply artificial turf to the black rubber safety mats around the playground equipment, saying a couple have curled up and overall they aren’t very attractive.

Street Superintendent Steve Meca said his crews will patch a hole in the wall there, apply new fascia to its shelter and repair its benches.

Councilman at large John Casinelli said efforts should be made to divert runoff from Jefferson Playground.

Velegol said council will discuss improvements to Mahan and Jefferson playgrounds next month.

Fourth Ward Councilman Rudy Cipriani suggested more work needs to be done at all five city parks.

“Everyone at this table and a lot of people walking up and down the streets know our playgrounds need to be upgraded,” he said, noting an independent contractor has proposed new equipment for the playgrounds.

Cipriani said the 1 percent sales tax approved by council last year is expected to generate $238,000, with $150,000 allocated for street paving, $50,000 for the city’s fire station and $38,000 for general use.

Council supported his motion to use the amount allocated for general use for the playgrounds.

In other business, City Manager John DeStefano announced Kelly Paving of Rayland was the sole bidder for the city’s street paving project, submitting separate bids for several streets so council could select those that fit its budget.

Totaling $225,000, bids were submitted for Donegal Drive West from Kilt Road to Highland Hills Drive; Highland Hills Drive from Robin Hood Drive to the stop sign; Scenic Drive, the upper and rear sections of Neville Street, the 800 block of Highland Street, Skyline Circle and the 900 and 1000 blocks of Oak Alley.

Council also approved the hiring of Todd Jackson for the street department and agreed to advertise for another employee for the department.

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

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