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Keep building discussions in the public eye

Much discussion has been held on the possibility of a new public safety facility for Weirton in recent weeks.

Initially, out of 16 sites reviewed by architectural consultants, only four properties were viewed as showing any viability for the project which had been proposed as a 37,000-square-foot building. The main focus seemed to be with Edwin J. Bowman Baseball Field, which currently serves as the home field for both Weir High and Madonna High baseball teams. The field also is targeted for a variety of improvements by the Weirton Park Board through a federal grant.

That led to disputes between the Park Board and Weirton Council and a town hall held last week, in which Park Board officials and some residents expressed their concerns over the field’s inclusion in plans for the public safety facility.

In the meantime, City Manager Mike Adams announced the city has been working to whittle down its list of features for the proposed facility, cutting back on some of the wants and focusing on the needs. Through that effort, it appears the facility’s size has been reduced by about half, which would make several of the other reviewed locations more possible for use.

This project is still in its earliest phases. Discussions will continue, and Adams has mentioned plans for city council to host its own town hall in the future.

That’s good, because this is a project with which the community needs to be involved.

The proposed public safety facility will be the new home of the Weirton Police Department, however and wherever it is constructed. The people of Weirton need to make sure the police department has what it needs to do its job properly and effectively. In addition, the people of Weirton will want to know how their money is being spent when it comes to any project of such magnitude.

We encourage all parties to be open throughout this process. Let’s make sure the community understands the reasoning behind this project, but also let’s make certain there is a light shining on it every step of the way.

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