Marland Heights pool deal gets OK

WEIRTON – It was a big day for members of the Marland Heights Community Association Thursday when the Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation voted to lease them the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool at Marland Heights Park.

The association has been working for the past few years to revitalize and reopen the pool site, which is recognized by the West Virginia National Registry of Historic Places.

After an hour-long executive session, the board approved the lease. Former Ward 1 Councilman Ronnie Jones abstained from the vote because of uncertainty regarding the status of his appointment on the board following his resignation from council.

The board is being represented by City Attorney Vincent Gurrera, and the MHCA is being represented by David B. Cross, an attorney based in Wellsburg. They will be collaborating on some details and language in the lease agreement in the coming weeks.

“We will work out specific language dealing with employees, repairs and maintenance, insurance and termination of the lease,” Gurrera said.

Dr. Mark Lewis and his wife, Lee, of Wintersville donated an 8-foot by 12-foot American flag to fly over the pool property.

“My family lived on Marland Heights, and my mom was a lifeguard there,” Lewis recalled.

“Two years of hard work really paid off,” Mayor George J. Kondik commented. “I anticipate great events happening at the pool soon.”

The MHCA will be hosting a quarter auction at Millsop Community Center June 28 and a craft show at Marland Heights Park on July 26, according to member Iris Himmelrick. An Oldies Dance in the park featuring Legend and DJ Harry Stock will take place Aug. 30, and a car show will take place Sept. 15.

Municipal parks in Weirton will be boasting new signs designating them as “smoke-free” thanks to the Brooke-Hancock Tobacco Prevention Coalition’s efforts in cooperation with the Smoke-Free West Virginia Initiative and the American Lung Association.

Deronda Bruich presented Terry Weigel, executive director of the Parks Board, with “Smoke-Free Property” signs at the meeting Thursday. The board established a “smoke-free” policy a year ago at their July 2013 regular meeting in the interest of visitors’ health.

For information about the Brooke-Hancock Tobacco Prevention Coalition call (304)748-7850 or visit their website at www.brookehancockfrn.org.

Doug Finton, board member, reported that the Starvaggi Civic Association raised money for two new benches and donated flowers and pots for the property as well as $200. Six new picnic tables are also coming to the park.

Coty Shingle, parks director of maintenance and operations, took a moment before adjournment to recognize park employees.

“Starvaggi Pool opened up on time for the 18th consecutive year, and we’re the only ones in the valley who opened on time,” he said. “That is a testament to how hard our guys work.”

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