WSS joins Mon Forest Town Partnership, prepares for Wild Game Cookoff

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By Sarah Richardson

The White Sulphur Springs City Council met on Monday, Sept. 9, and heard a presentation from District Ranger Cynthia Sandeno with the Forest Service, approved multiple development agreements dealing with the Great Barrel Company sewer project and access road, and began preparations for the upcoming Wild Game Cook-off on Oct. 5.

Ranger Sandeno came before the council to encourage the city’s participation in the Mon Forest Town Partnership, which she explained is designed to connect the communities within the Monongahela National Forest including Cowen, Davis, Elkins, Franklin, Marlinton, Parsons, Petersburg, Richwood, and Thomas. According to her press release, “While the distance between the communities is vast, connecting could be a boon for visitors planning multi-day activities. Coordinated planning could allow for communities to work together to apply for regional grants.”

Sandeno said this partnership is intended to help present the region as a whole instead of by individual towns, thus increasing funding possibilities and making the entire locality more marketable. After gathering feedback from communities last year, she said that the forest is emphasizing the following areas: sustainable trail and recreation infrastructure development, workforce development, business and entrepreneurial development, branding and marketing, and health and wellness.

She is encouraging each city council in the region to appoint a representative for the Mon Forest Town Council, and Mayor Bruce Bowling volunteered to represent White Sulphur. The council voted to support the initiative, and approved the mayor’s appointment.

The council also voted to approve invoices relating to the design and construction of the Hart’s Run Waterline Extension Project, which came to a grand total of $16,403, to be paid by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources grant and no cost to the city.

Development agreements with the Greenbrier County Commission were also approved, one for an access road and one for a sewer extension, both pertaining to the barrel company. The total cost for the access road is $334,981.82, and the sewer extension is $38,500. Both projects are covered in full by the TIF (tax increment financing) program.

In other news, fast approaching is the seventh annual Wild Game Cook-off, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 5. A fundraiser for White Sulphur Springs Main Street, local restaurants, chefs, and home-trained cooks are invited to compete with their best wild game or home-grown recipes. The event is held in the green space behind Midland Trail Park in downtown White Sulphur, and will feature a beer garden, marketplace, local vendors, artisans, and more. First place, second place, and People’s Choice winners will all receive cash prizes this year.

Guests are invited to taste their way around the event, and seconds are encouraged. Admission is $15 and covers all-you-can-eat, refreshments, and two beer tickets (cash bar after tickets are used). Food and drink service begins at 12 noon. Message their Facebook page at WSS Wild Game Cook-off to sign up.