Church Wants Tank Field

WHEELING – City officials may be willing to let the Church of God and Saints of Christ take over ownership of the Tank Field recreation facility, but they first need more information about the church’s plan for the park.

Discussion of the church’s interest in acquiring Tank Field, so named because of its proximity to three large water storage tanks off Northern Parkway, is the lone item on the agenda for Wheeling Development Committee members – Mayor Andy McKenzie, Vice Mayor Eugene Fahey and Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge – during their meeting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in council chambers at the City-County Building. The full city council’s regular meeting will follow at noon in the same location.

City Manager Robert Herron said officials wouldn’t mind saving the city the cost of maintaining the park by transferring it to private hands.

But it’s not that simple because of conditions tied to a federal Land and Water Conservation Grant the city previously received for the facility.

Once a city uses such a grant to build or improve a recreation site, its use cannot change without the approval of the United States Park Service.

“We have to learn a little more about their plan. … It has to be used for outdoor recreation,” Herron said.

The tennis courts and ball field are located more than a mile and a half away from the Church of God and Saints of Christ, situated at the corner of 12th and Byron streets. A call to the church was not returned Friday.

Meanwhile, only two items are up for a vote during the full council’s meeting on Tuesday. One, the proposed designation of 56 Carmel Road as a redevelopment site drew the ire of a few residents during council’s meeting on June 18.

A redevelopment site designation would allow owner Charles Schlegel to serve beer at the new Mexican restaurant he plans to open inside the former Salsa Cafe, but some who live nearby said there are already enough establishments serving alcohol in the neighborhood. Schlegel said the establishment offers limited seating and would close by 8 p.m. nightly.

Council also will vote on the purchase of polymer for water treatment from SNF Polydine of Riceboro, Ga., for $31.25 per ton, a total of $163,744.

Items up for first reading Tuesday include rezoning property at 3604, 3606 and 3608 Wood St. from high-density residential to I-2 Industrial; spending $70,319 with Wells Fargo for excess workers’ compensation insurance; spending $17,500 in coal severance money for the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 City of Lights Festival; spending $26,590 with Staley Communication of Wheeling for six digital radios for the fire department; and renewing an agreement with the Ohio County Board of Education for use of a portion of Garden Park in Warwood.