City Gets Grant for Playground Equipment at Sports Field

The state of West Virginia has awarded Wheeling a $7,200 grant for replacement of playground equipment removed to make way for the future J.B. Chambers Recreation Park.

A vote on whether to accept that grant is among the matters City Council will consider when it meets at noon Tuesday in the first-floor council chambers at the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St. Before the full council meets, the Development Committee will meet at 11:30 a.m. in City Manager Robert Herron’s third-floor conference room.

The only item on the committee’s agenda is a closed-door session to discuss property negotiations. Herron said he could not yet reveal details of those negotiations, but he said the committee likely will take action following the executive session.

According to Herron, the city has received other grants of similar size toward the new playground equipment, which will cost an estimated $34,000. That new playground equipment will be located on the site of the planned East Wheeling sports field for which the city demolished about two dozen houses between 15th and 16th and Wood and McColloch streets last year.

Officials anticipate construction of the artificial turf field will take place this year, though there is no timetable for that work to begin. Fundraising for the estimated $3 million project is ongoing, according to Mayor Andy McKenzie.

In addition to the grant for the playground equipment, council will vote on whether to accept grants from the same program for various other projects and agencies, including $4,800 for fireworks at the city’s statehood sesquicentennial celebration in June; $14,400 for an ice/floor covering project as WesBanco Arena; $9,600 for the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling; and $7,200 for renovations at the Capitol Theatre.

Council is also expected to authorize an $82,565 payment to Wayne Crouse Inc. for work on the city’s ongoing wastewater treatment plant project.

Several items are up for a first reading Tuesday that council is expected to vote on at its Feb. 19 meeting, including:

– Purchase of $122,719 in equipment for monitoring overflow in the city’s combined sewer system from FloWav Inc. of Hummelstown, Pa.

– Spending $51,509 with Savage Construction of Wheeling for a waterline extension project on Idabelle Ave.

– Spending $40,557 with Ace Truck Equipment of Zanesville, Ohio, for a crane.

– A $34,000 contract with McKeen Security Inc. of St. Clairsville to provide a safety coordinator for city employees that will work out of the Operations Center in Clator. Herron said the city has been without a safety coordinator for about a year, after the in-house employee who filled that role retired and a previous contract with another company didn’t work out.

– Several traffic rules.