It’s time to fish or cut bait.
That’s the message that the Marion County Commission has for the City of Fairmont over a deal to trade the county’s 100 block of Adams Street for the city’s piece of Palatine Park.
The county wants to develop the riverfront using land it purchased from CSX in June. The county wants to use land that extends from the Bauer Building/Election Center to the site of the former Low Level Bridge and clear out space for walking trails, restrooms, fishing docks, boat docks and ramps, a splash park, picnic tables, parking, pavilions, a water garden and maybe even a gazebo for weddings.
It’s something that has been on the planning wish list of the city for more than a dozen years. What the city has lacked is major funding to even start such an endeavor or an anchor business that would keep the momentum of development going.
Even without an anchor business, the county can achieve great things with the plan it has released. With that $800,000 investment, there’s no doubt that weekly fishing tournaments could be held along the banks of the Mon River. And there is major money to be had from those kind of tournaments — from beds being filled in local hotels and motels to purchases being made in stores by out-of-town guests to seats being taken in local restaurants by hungry fishermen and their families.
So we’ll say it again. It’s time to fish or cut bait.
Why? The city has yet to even talk about the trade. There has been very little discussion at Fairmont City Council meetings, other than updates from Charlie Reese, the director of the Marion County Development Office. There hasn’t even been an executive session in the nearly two months since the county unveiled the plan to city council.
These types of discussions, as we all know, have to take place during official meetings. The city says it needs time to dot I’s and cross T’s. But if there has been no official discussion of the proposal, we say the nine elected members of city council seem to be dragging their feet on even discussing what the county has to offer, much less giving it serious consideration. They haven’t even asked for public comment to gauge what city residents want to see. After all, aren’t these elected members of council accountable to the people who put them there?
When council members have expressed concern over trading property, not once have they mentioned Fairmont residents. Yes, council serves as a steward of public funds and property, but we elect them to make the decisions based on what is best in the short-term and long-term for the city and its residents, not their legacy or ego.
Council has said it will discuss options at its Aug. 27 meeting behind closed doors. They are within their rights to do so, as consideration of the purchase, sale or trade of property is a matter that is exempt from open-meeting laws.
But on Aug. 27, we certainly hope that council comes out of that chamber with an answer. Yes or no, the county is going to move forward. Having a fully developed riverfront, including the city’s portion of Palatine Park, would be ideal and in the best interest of all residents of Marion County, including the nearly 20,000 who live in the City of Fairmont.
Few would say a developed riverfront is a bad thing. If that’s the case, does it matter who got the job done? Have egos gotten in the way? Are leaders more concerned with equity than what’s best for the residents of the city? This decision now rests in the votes of nine members of city council.
After two months, it’s time to make a decision. Your residents deserve one. Fish or cut bait.
It’s time to fish or cut bait.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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