Pool season reduced

FOLLANSBEE – City Council on Monday moved to shorten the number of days the city’s swimming pool is open and received an offer to buy the site of the former Brooke County Animal Shelter.

Council agreed to reduce the pool’s hours to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only after the first two weeks of August, pending the availability of lifeguards the city must provide for supervision.

Second Ward Councilman Tom DiBattista said though August is the hottest month of the year, attendance at the pool is usually low.

Several council members said they believe that’s because many students are involved in sports and other school-related activities as the school year approaches. It was noted the new school year is slated to begin Aug. 23.

City Manager John DeStefano said keeping young adults as lifeguards and other park staff through August also is an issue because many are involved in such activities are returning to college classes, which often begin earlier than public schools.

The move came after council authorized DeStefano to hire 18 lifeguards, 19 maintenance workers and three cashiers. The cashiers handle admissions to the pool.

Staff for the pool’s concession stand is hired by Davis Food Express of Wintersville, which has run the stand in recent years.

DeStefano said supervisors for the park’s staff and city crews have begun mowing and cleaning up the park and pool, and there are plans to re-paint the pool, which is slated to re-open on Memorial Day weekend.

Also on Monday, council heard from Stacie Wise, who said her brother-in-law, Greg Wise, would like to buy the former site of the Brooke County Animal Shelter off Allegheny Street to store equipment used in his excavating business.

The 1.5-acre site has been vacant since the new shelter opened in Beech Bottom and its ownership reverted back to the city.

Stacie Wise said her brother-in-law would be interested in clearing the site of the former shelter and another building there as well as trash that has been illegally dumped at the site.

Council heard last week from Robert Stewart of the Toronto 4th of July Committee, who asked about buying the site to store fireworks used for the city’s Independence Day celebration and other occasions.

City Attorney Michael Gaudio said if council decides to sell the property, it must be through an auction.

Council took no action on either proposal Monday.

– Granted C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc. permission to conduct its summer food program at Follansbee Park, through which it distributes lunches to any child with the goal of reaching children who may be hungry during the months away from school.

– Authorized City Police Chief John Schwertfeger to hire Jefferson Security to assist City Police with traffic control while a parade is held at 7 p.m. May 28 on Main Street (state Route 2) to promote the Brooke-Hancock American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

The highway will be closed from Follansbee Middle School to Broad Street during the parade, which will be a maximum of two hours, and traffic detoured along Mahan Lane, Eldersville Road and Cross Creek Road/Bruin Drive.

Relay for Life Chairman Dave Secrist presented a letter indicating approval from the state Division of Highway.

Secrist said the parade will have a Mardi Gras theme in keeping with the theme of the annual fundraiser, which will be held June 1-2 at the Follansbee Middle School football field.