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Park board moving ahead

Marland Heights Park to see work

WEIRTON — The Weirton Board of Parks and Recreation is moving forward on a plan for a series of improvement projects at Marland Heights Park, approving a list of proposals during its meeting Thursday.

Before discussing the proposals, Chairman Edwin J. Bowman asked what funding is available to the board.

Coty Shingle, parks executive director, explained there is a $60,000 carryover from the previous fiscal year, with additional contingency funds in the form of a certificate of deposit, although the board would prefer to keep those funds available for emergency situations.

Bowman explained the board wants to make an investment in Marland Heights Park, and had requested Shingle to create a list of potential projects.

“People react to what they can see,” Bowman said.

Among the proposals, the board agreed to the purchase of a new waste container and enclosure, tree removal, new park benches, new barbecue grills, a new mid-size swing set, painting of fences and poles, repair of the sidewalks and the construction of new restrooms.

The total estimated cost for the projects is $35,620.

“The sidewalks are horrible,” board member Iris Himmelrick said. “They definitely need work.”

When asked by board member Doug Finton if the new swing set would result in the removal of any equipment, Shingle said the oldest swing set in the park, which he noted is 15 feet tall, would be taken out.

“I want to get something that matches what we have and is safe,” Shingle said.

Himmelrick noted that while the restrooms within the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool had been renovated by the Marland Heights Community Association, they are difficult for some to access.

“It’s hard for people, the elderly, to walk down there,” Himmelrick said.

Shingle said possible locations for the new restrooms include alongside the concession stand, or an existing concrete pad near Shelter No. 2.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Flora Perrone, who attended Thursday’s meeting, asked about the possibility of a dog park, noting she had been approached by residents with the idea.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever considered it,” Perrone said.

Himmelrick said she doesn’t believe there would be adequate space for a dog park within Marland Heights Park, although some nearby property, which she said she believes is owned by ArcelorMittal, could be ideal.

Bowman said one of the issues with establishing a dog park in Weirton has been a lack of fundraising and financial contributions for such a project.

“We don’t have philanthropists that get involved,” he said, noting similar projects in Wheeling.

Himmelrick said another project set for the park is the installation of a community bulletin board, which is being performed as part of an Eagle Scout project.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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