Pool sale talks center on lease

WEIRTON The Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation met with members of the Marland Heights Community Association in a special session Thursday to discuss the possible transfer of the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool property.

The association has been working in recent years to raise funding in order to take over and reopen the pool at Marland Heights Park. At their regular meeting on Feb. 20, Parks Board members said that further consultation with legal counsel would be required to find out whether the property can legally be transferred to the community association. City Attorney Vincent Gurrera was consulted on the matter.

“My understanding is that Weirton Steel never actually deeded the property over to the city; the Parks Board had it on a lease. That lease included stipulations about the possibility of transferring the pool,” Gurrera said. “So the association needs to prove that the city or the Parks Board even has the power to sell or transfer the property.”

A closed executive session between the parks board and association members Thursday to discuss a possible agreement lasted about an hour. A series of options was established, and both sides will study them before continuing discussions, officials explained.

“The board has asked that I prepare a letter for them detailing options, and they in turn are going to have their legal counsel confer with me about those options. After that they intend to make a decision about which option is best for them,” explained David B. Cross, an attorney based in Wellsburg who will be representing the association.

Park Board members said three possibilities for the future of the pool are being discussed at the moment.

“There were some problems with the language in the deed. We met with the association and came up with three solutions. They’re going to get back with us, and in turn we’re going to seek clarification on whether Vince (city attorney) can represent us,” Ted Dragisich, park board member, said. “Once we come to that conclusion, then our attorney will work with Mr. Cross to move forward on this.”

Members of the community association expressed their gratitude to the parks board for working with them on the matter.

“The Marland Heights Community Association would like to thank the Parks Board for their continuing cooperation and collaborative efforts,” Doug Jackson, president of the association, commented.

The Marland Heights Community Association began their efforts with the pool after the parks board closed it several years ago citing lack of use and the cost of maintaining the structure.

Earlier this month, the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool was added to a list of endangered properties by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.

(Dalrymple can be contacted at sdalrymple@heraldstaronline.com)