WEIRTON - Nearly $28,000 will be used for a landscaping project along Three Springs Drive after Weirton City Council approved a resolution to move forward with plans on Monday.
City officials said approximately $200,000 remaining from the Penco Road project several years ago was approved for enhancement use along Three Springs Drive and after completing some upgrades already - sidewalks that extend from the Holiday Inn north toward St. Thomas Drive - $28,000 now remains for additional landscaping enhancements.
Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh said the city has done what it can to hold on to the money. He said the money was originally intended to be used along with a grant, which the city did not get, to complete sidewalks and landscaping for the entire length of the road.
LANDSCAPING — Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh explained that the city will be using approximately $28,000 to make additional landscaping enhancements along Three Springs Drive where a project that began several years ago was stalled. City officials are expected to apply for another grant in the fall to complete the project which will call for the installation of sidewalks along the entire length of the street. -- Angelina Dickson
"We need to use the money by the end of the year and we'll be able to finish what has already been started," Marsh said of the funds.
City Manager Valerie Means said the city had been denied the grant which would allow the entire project to move forward at once. She said the grant would have been used to complete the first phase of the project and she intends to submit another grant application this fall for that purpose.
The Three Springs Drive enhancement project began in the fall of 2010 with the installation of sidewalks from in front of the Holiday Inn Weirton to St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Means said she intends to apply for the grant again in order to move into the second phase of the project which will call for sidewalks to be extended just beyond Burger King and include curbs and plantings across the street near the entrance to the former Wal-Mart location.
An eventual goal would include plans to extend the sidewalk on the north side of the road to the shopping plaza near the Village Pharmacy. However, because of the cemetery located on the hillside, the sidewalks would jump across the street and continue onward to meet up with Penco Road and eventually tie in with the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk expansion project.
In other business, city council approved the Northern Redevelopment District Plan presented by the Weirton Redevelopment Authority.
Chairman Mark Zatezalo said the plan has been a long time in the making, and with the help of Environmental Planning and Design of Pittsburgh, the district can now be certified. He said some of the setbacks in the plan's progress included talks with ArcelorMittal about whether sales of the property, largely owned by the mill, were going through.
"This plan is not going to affect the sale of the properties in that area. Some of the property may be under imminent sale and this will help that effort move forward," said Zatezalo.
The entire northern development district, outlined in the Riverport Technology Plan, consists of 2.5 million square feet of usable property. Zatezalo said the Redevelopment Authority is interested in seeing the sale of property, construction and establishment of jobs in the northern part of Weirton.
Zatezalo said whatever happens the Redevelopment Authority can't stress enough the importance of integrating transportation into the plan.
"It will enhance, preserve and separate the industrial properties from the regular roads," he said. "Utilizing the transportation mechanisms already in place will be a great service and we're willing to work with anyone."
(Dickson can be contacted at email@example.com)