Using Our Heritage To Build the Future

There should be no lack of ideas coming out of the Waterfront Enhancement Committee named by Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott. The panel is composed of more than 30 high-powered members with their own records of accomplishment.

If anything, coming to a consensus may be the challenge. Lots of good ideas may not make the final cut.

Clearly, some agreement on an overall strategy for redeveloping the area of the city’s Heritage Port is desirable. Wheeling officials need something of a road map.

A virtual clean sheet of paper approach — with the understanding that some really great ideas may not be feasible — needs to be adopted.

And, while a cohesive proposal ought to be forwarded by the committee, suggestions not included in the panel’s report should not be deep-sixed. A list of them ought to be included in what the committee presents council, for several reasons. One is that no one can say what will happen during the next several years — and a private-sector development proposal could make one of the panel’s second-tier ideas a wonderful possibility.

Wheeling has three enormous assets in place: the Heritage Port, nearby WesBanco Arena — and the Ohio River. If the committee operates under any constraint, it ought to be that the majestic, powerful stream is part of the city’s heritage and must be the centerpiece of future development.