By SHAE DALRYMPLE
WEIRTON - The Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation voted unanimously to introduce a veterans' discount at the regular meeting Thursday.
The discount will be effective just in time for Memorial Day.
The idea came from a current member of Millsop who penned a letter to board members about the policy change. They embraced the concept.
"The park board will recognize servicemen and women by offering a 20 percent Millsop Community Center annual membership discount on individual, senior and household membership categories effective May 26, Memorial Day," board member Deb Witkowski motioned. "We are also inviting servicemen and women of the past and present to enjoy the benefits of Millsop Community Center for the week prior to Memorial Day (May 18-24) and the week prior to Veterans Day (Nov. 9-15) free of charge."
Veterans and active service people will be required to provide verifiable identification.
"To recognize their service to our country and to all of us, we offer them the services of Millsop Community Center," Witkowski said.
Terry Weigel, executive director, reported membership numbers are only three passes down from this time last year. Witkowski noted the numbers aren't as "dire" as they had been portrayed in recent months. The membership report does not take into account the hundreds of seniors and ArcelorMittal employees taking advantage of the Silver Sneakers and Employee Wellness programs.
Coty Shingle, parks director of maintenance and operations, reported that Starvaggi pool has been resurfaced and is "ready to go." The pool is set to open on May 24, Memorial Day weekend, weather permitting.
"It's been hard with the rain, but everything will be spruced up in time for the summer season," Shingle said.
He added the community center will have 16 new rental lockers installed soon.
The board voted unanimously to accept a bid, the only one submitted, from Davis Food Express for concession rights at Starvaggi. The contract will state that Davis will pay $2,000 per year for three years, with the option of renewing for three additional years.
The heating for the office area of the community center went out in April, according to Weigel.
"The rooftop unit that failed was about 15 years old, and it's just one of those things we can't do without," he said.
Only one bid was returned to replace the unit: Mountain Air would charge $6,284. Members voted unanimously to accept the bid.
Marland Heights Community Association has been working in recent years to fund, revitalize and reopen the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool at Marland Heights Park. The parks board is being represented by City Attorney Vincent Gurrera, and the MHCA is being represented by David B. Cross, an attorney based in Wellsburg, as work on a lease agreement moves forward.
Weigel said Gurrera has not yet received the working copy of the lease from Cross. The process will move forward once that exchange takes place.
The MHCA will host another quarter auction at Millsop Community Center on June 28 and a craft show at Marland Heights Park on July 26, according to member Iris Himmelrick. An oldies dance in the park featuring Legend and DJ Harry Stock will take place Aug. 30, and the car show previously planned for June has been rescheduled for Sept. 15 to avoid conflicting with other local car shows. The association's "Rock The Park" concert set for May 24 has been canceled.
The board entered into executive session to discuss a personnel matter briefly before adjourning the meeting.
(Dalrymple can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)