Water board OKs advertising deal with Weirton Medical Center

WEIRTON Weirton Medical Center soon will be advertising on the freshly painted East End water tank near the hospital on Colliers Way.

The Weirton Area Water Board voted to accept the idea proposed by WMC representatives at Thursday’s meeting. Board member Don Gianni was absent from the meeting, and Jim Shockley, chairman, left the room for the discussion and vote to avoid a conflict of interest. He also is on the WMC board of trustees.

“We have an agreement with Weirton Medical Center that they have to pay the expense to have it painted,” said Dan Guida, attorney. “It’s a five-year lease agreement, and they can renew or extend it for an additional two five-year periods. So it can actually go 15 years total, and if they do extend it at the end of five years, there’s a bump up in the rental fee and another one if they extend again five years after that. Certainly we’re not in the business of leasing out – it’s not a billboard, and we wouldn’t be doing this for just any business. That said, every rule has an exception, and we believe a hospital is a good example of that. They are growing and shaking and moving, and they’re obviously an important part of the community.”

WMC will pay $800 per month for the first five years, and two optional renewals of the lease in the following 10 years will result in a 5 percent increase each time. The first 15 to 16 months will be paid up front, and when the lease ends. WMC will be responsible for restoring the tank to its original condition, according to Guida. The logo will be painted on both sides of the tank by D&M Painting and should be visible from U.S. Route 22.

Board members voted unanimously on a resolution to eliminate uncollectable accounts receivable in the amount of $166,775. Some of the accounts date back to 2009, according to Sam K. Stoneking Jr., assistant utilities director. He clarified that they will be passed on to a collection agency in an effort to get some of the money back, not entirely written off. Many of the accounts represent former residents who “skipped town” without paying their water bills.

In other business, the board denied a request by Dr. Aman Purewal to dedicate a privately owned line segment from North 20th Street to Barton Drive. After discussion, officials determined the request was not “technically feasible or economically feasible at this time,” according to A.D. Mastrantoni, utilities director.

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