Dorie Miller Park getting a facelift

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Dorie Miller Park is about to have its furniture rearranged, so to speak.

The four-plus acre park, almost constantly in use, is overdue for a facelift. The Lewisburg Parks Commission, together with suggestions and concerns contributed by the local community, has generated a plan to renovate the park grounds that is even now underway. At the Tuesday, Mar. 21, Lewisburg City Council meeting, one of the support legs for the project, approval of $25,000 from the coal severance fund, was earmarked for the park.

The parks commission, headed by Lewisburg City Council member Josh Baldwin, has put in months of discussions with Public Works Director Roger Pence to develop a more useful park layout that will provide a safer environment for children, include more and better parking, increase restroom sites and relocate one of the shelters to a more accessible spot.

The biggest development for Dorie Miller Park will be a brand new playpark. Baldwin has described the make-over as “a destination playpark,” projected to be in place by 2018, to be funded with corporate and private donations. Baldwin said public awareness of the Dorie Miller Park renovations is being spearheaded by the WVSOM student/community relations committee under the direction of parks commission member Janice Cooley and WVSOM student Ryan Grant.

In other city council business:

  • The city’s general fund budget of just under $6.5 million was approved by council for fiscal year 2018. The budget includes close to $2.4 million in unencumbered balances held over from previous years, according to council member Mark Etten, who chairs the city’s finance committee. The city’s budget awaits the state’s official approval before being formally adopted.
  • A sink hole in Stratton Alley discovered last July is threatening City Hall, the mayor said. Bids are being gathered for a three-phase project, said city zoning officer Chuck Smith. The first phase will stabilize and reinforce City Hall’s foundation, the second will deal with the cracks in the walls both within and outside the building, and lastly, the alley will be repaved and downspouts will be rerouted to drop inlets to keep water erosion from further damaging the integrity of the structure. The city’s insurance carrier has surveyed the sink hole, but Manchester said he has no idea whether the carrier will cover the repair costs for the project.
  • The last pay request from FAMCO, the company in charge of repairing water lines in Caldwell that were damaged last June from the floods, were approved in the amount of $77,640. Manchester said the funds paid are all FEMA monies, with no cost to the city.
  • Carnegie Hall received $5,500 from the city’s arts and humanities grant program, and will use it for landscaping and for promotional banners displayed around the town during Lewisburg’s annual fall T.O.O.T. event.
  • Council passed the first reading of Ordinance 269, designed to encourage a timely remittance of bed tax funds to the city by imposing a late penalty. Hotel operators are currently required to submit each month’s bed tax by the 10th day of the following month. Delays have become an issue, the mayor said. The second reading and a public hearing for the ordinance will be held at the next city council meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 18.
  • Council approved the city’s annual $2,872.50 contribution to Mountain Transit Authority (MTA).