WEIRTON - Frustrated with a malfunctioning LED sign they spent nearly $61,000 to buy, Weirton's park board is planning legal action against the vendor who sold it to them.
CENTER OF CONTROVERSY — Weirton’s Board of Parks and Recreation is taking legal action against the vendor that sold them this digital sign, installed during Millsop Community Center’s facade renovations. Board members said the LED sign, which cost them nearly $61,000, has been problematic since its installation some four years ago.
The sign, part of Millsop Community Center's extensive facade renovations, was commissioned in 2008.
"It had operational problems almost from its inception," park board member Ed Bowman said Friday. "We recently had the vendor come to our meeting, we would rather have worked things out. But even for him to come in and correct the problem would still have been some expense on our part. We, as a park board, felt it wasn't a satisfactory resolution to the problem. We felt the vendor should be responsible for any expense."
The board had planned to use the sign to tout recreational activities in the community, particularly the sports camps, leagues and special events held at Millsop throughout the year. The digital display has been problematic, however.
"It's not operational," Bowman said. "It's not doing anything now whatsoever. Obviously, we're very upset about that, we thought it would be a good feature, to be able to display community events and activities. With it being idled, we've lost that opportunity."
Bowman said the problems started "almost immediately after the sign was installed," adding the vendor now says they need "a different type of technology."
"When you spend the kind of money we did, you expect it to operate in the manner it should," he said. "We shouldn't be having trouble with it all these months."
Parks and Recreation Director Terry Weigel, who does double duty as Weirton's Ward 7 councilman, deferred comment to Weirton Attorney Vince Gurrera, who could not be reached for comment. Gurrera will represent the park board's interests in court.
"We wish we could have found a course of action at no expense to the board, but any resolution (short of) legal action was still going to cost us money," Bowman said. "We didn't feel we should be incurring any additional expense, based on what we already paid for it."