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Parks And Recreation Highlight New Martinsville Council Meeting

By Staff | Mar 9, 2011

Parks and Recreation Director Beverly Gibb reported to New Martinsville City Council Monday evening that the stakeholders meeting about Bruce Park held at the Lincoln Theater on Feb. 17 went well. “I think it was very well received,” said Gibb.

The next step is to hold a public meeting, tentatively set for March 28 at 6 p.m. at the theater. However, that date and time is not confirmed yet as she wants to make sure the architects, Kayafas Architects in Wheeling, W.Va., and Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, Ltd., of St. Clairsville, Ohio, are available then. At that meeting the plan will be offered to the public and the department will hear their questions and comments.

“There are some pretty cool things going on I think,” said Gibb. “I’ve only had positive feedback.”

They have already made some changes based on the public’s response. They have moved the batting cages closer to the ballfield and put a half basketball court where the baby pool is now.

“I really liked the proposal,” said Councilman Joel Potts III.

Mayor Lucille Blum said she has received more questions about Bruce Pool than any single issue since she’s been in city government. It is good that people can understand the situation with the structure and what can be done to save it, even if not as a pool.

In another parks matter, Gibb said a group of students from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa., have been volunteering in the city through a program with Wheeling Jesuit University.

Six students and a supervisor worked in New Martinsville Monday and Tuesday putting back up the fence torn down by a destructive truck at the Hydro softball field. Another group will come next week, continuing in the same fashion throughout March.

“We’ve been so fortunate to have these groups that we’ve had,” said Gibb. “They really worked hard.” She also said it has been helpful that Marlee Amos, NMP&R intern for the past couple years, is in charge of the group.

Gibb said she would love the public to thank these volunteers when they see them around town.

Blum echoed Gibb’s praise for the college volunteers. “They’re really interested in our community,” said Blum, who takes them with her to deliver Open Door Ministries meals. “It’s very interesting to hear their thoughts on a small town in West Virginia.”

Finally, Gibb also thanked everyone who helped out with the Daddy Daughter Dance. It was a huge success with over 300 people in attendance. “We couldn’t pull it off without their help,” she said of the volunteers.

The NMPRD and Bruce Bowling Lanes will be sponsoring an evening of bowling, pizza, and prizes for mother and sons, ages four and up. The bowling will be on March 26, 6-8 p.m., at Bruce Bowling Lanes. Bruce Bowling Lanes will provide music and bowling with their Extreme Glow black lights, fog, and spotlight effects.

The fee will be $17 per couple and $5 for each additional son. The fee includes two games of bowling with shoe rental, pizza, and refreshments! Space is limited, so register early. The registration fee will increase to $27 per couple and $10 per additional son after March 18.

To register contact the NM Parks Office at 304-455-9130 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All registrations must be made and paid for by March 23. For more information call 304-455-9130.

They are also currently taking Bruce, Lewis Wetzel, and Brooklyn Park shelter reservations for April, May, June, July, August, September, and October 2011.

Candy Gay of East Thistle Drive spoke to council “on behalf of the ducks”.

She said she agrees about the rule to not feed the ducks, but the one still in the area of Lewis Wetzel Park are domestic ducks that are not going to fly south.

“They are starving, they’re feet are frostbitten and deformed. If you would see them in the winter. . . coming on your porch and begging for food,” said Gay, then surely the city would have mercy on them. She and her neighbors have said if they would get arrested for feeding the ducks, then they’d just have to bring snacks with them to jail, because the poor animals are hungry, no longer have any shelter, and there is nowhere for them to go.

“They’re ours to care about now in the proper manner,” said Gay, who asked why they couldn’t be adopted out to farms.

“We’re feeding about 30,” Gay answered when Corliss asked her how many ducks come into the neighborhood. She added that about every three weeks you’ll find another dead duck laying on the street.

“It’s been pitiful to watch,” said Gay. “They deserve a better life than what they have right now. If they’re there, they need to be treated humanely.”

Rick Suter said he is still signing up volunteers for the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon to be held Labor Day weekend. The local organizers have until Aug. 19 to get everything set up for a local call bank. There will be eight shifts this year and he would like to see more citizens help.

Council unanimously voted to hire Minie McNalley as the crossing guard at New Martinsville School. The city and Wetzel County Board of Education will combine to pay $2,500 per year for the position.

McNalley has acted as a volunteer crossing guard this year, but now the New Martinsville Police Department will work with her to give instruction and equipment to enable her to function properly and set up a definitive time schedule. Blum also noted her background check through the board has been approved.

“I think we would all agree that George (Antonik) made a profession out of being a crossing guard. She has big shoes to fill,” said Blum. He always gave the kids candy on Mondays and Fridays, a fact that Cecil said he is sure they will inform the new guard of that duty very soon.

Also, council thanked Cloyde Doty who served as a volunteer crossing guard for several weeks.

Electric Department Manager David White said his department has been doing some work trying to beef up security on some of their facilities to try to stop/deter copper thefts.

Also, he is having two contractors give some pricing on putting in water and sewer lines to the proposed new camping area at the north end of Hydro Drive, on the plateau overlooking the dam.

“As the weather starts to break I’d really like to get moving on some sort of utilities up there,” said White.

Hydroelectric Manager Chuck Stora reported that generation for February was 11.3 percent below budget. Also, the plant is currently shut down because of high water–for the second time in March. His biggest problem lately has been trash. In the last couple months they have removed 50 dumpsters full of trash, mostly from the bed of the river.