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Commission Gives To Riverfront

By Staff | Aug 31, 2011

This lot, just south of Ohio Street and along the Ohio River in New Martinsville, is the site of a future park that will include a boat dock and launch. After developed, it will become part of New Martinsville’s park system.

The Wetzel County Commission agreed to donate $10,000 to the development of a riverfront park in New Martinsville just south of Ohio Street.

The unanimous decision came Aug. 23, one week after Santina Vigliotti and Steve Pallisco, members of the Riverfront Development Committee, appeared before the commission and followed up with a written request.

At that earlier meeting Vigliotti first thanked the commission for their active support of the committee and then proceeded with an update on the committee’s progress with their riverfront park project.

Vigliotti stated the committee has looked into the prospect of developing the riverfront property beside the Ohio Street Fire Station on Main Street. The committee has plans to build a park, boating dock and launch facility, secure the riverbank from erosion, and build a gazebo and portable stage, all in the effort to meet recreational needs of residents and tourists.

She also stated they’ve met with Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, Ltd., the same company hired to redesign Bruce Park, to help develop the committee’s master plan. As announced at the July 6 New Martinsville City Council meeting, the Riverfront Development Committee and the city have reached an agreement with the plan and are ready to move forward. Vigliotti added that all parties agree the project is an important component in the city’s economic development.

Vigliotti also noted the overwhelming support from community entities such as the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, the Wetzel County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Valley Ventures, as well as individuals. “We have the synergy going on that we didn’t have before,” Vigliotti said. “We realize we need to work together. We all have the common goal of prosperity.”

Vigliotti then addressed the commission regarding additional support in the way of a donation. Commissioners said she noted the committee has received $10,000 each from Bayer Corporation, the Wetzel County Historical Society, and also has a financial commitment from the WCCC. She asked for similar support from the county.

Once the riverfront park is developed, the property will be given to the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Commission to become part of the city’s parks system.

When asked where the Riverfront Development Committee will go after completion of this project, Vigliotti and Pallisco said the committee is far from finished in the community and are looking forward to building fund raising events in the coming year in addition to planning activities such as the ever-growing Festival of Memories.

“We need to keep any kind of development going,” said President Don Mason. “I’ve always believed that we have never taken advantage of our riverfront.”

“It’s doable and it’s viable,” said Commissioner Scott Lemley. “I think it’s a great opportunity.”

While Mason said it was a somewhat small project, he said it was a start. “This may be the catalyst to start the whole thing,” commented Mason.