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Groundbreaking for New City Building Is Expected

Groundbreaking for a new city of Moundsville Municipal//Public Safety Building is expected to be held this year.

City officials have already chosen an architectural firm from 11 different companies to do the design work, with the next step being to enter into a contract with the firm.

City Manager Rick Healy said it is anticipated that the new building will be constructed on the current city-owned parking lot, which faces Jefferson Avenue on the east, Sixth Street on the south and Morton Avenue on the west.

Healy stated, “Our preliminary plans call for an approximately 22,000 square-foot, two-story structure building. The existing building will be demolished after the new structure is completed.”

Healy said, “We will not go to the citizens and ask for funding, nor will we impose a user fee.” He added that, “The new building will be designed for technology, efficiency, and to make life easier for our residents doing business with the city.”

The city manager said, “Speaking of technology, we began launching a new website in 2019. This site has also come with the availability of a City of Moundsville app for smart phones and tablets. This allows us to send out notifications for events and activities, but more importantly, things such as flooding, storms, electrical outages, road closures, boil orders, etc.”

The main office also has been converted to a new software system during the past year. This a complete system including accounts receivable, accounts payable, licenses, fines, utility billing, among other things.

Healy added, “Finally, I will be able to view the fiscal position of the city in real time, which allows me to act rather than react. One of the side benefits of this system is that we are able to take our public safety billing (which was previously DOS-based software), and add it to the sanitation and municipal service for billing. This spreads the payment out over 12 months, instead of twice a year.”

The city manager, who in December completed his first year on the job, is very pleased with accomplishments which took place in the city in 2019, but it dates back to 2015 when Moundsville was granted home rule status. To date, the biggest benefit has been the implementation of a 1 percent municipal sales and use tax.

This was followed by council revising the areas of the budget that receive the proceeds from this tax. Namely, paving, demolition, parks and recreation (including Four Seasons Pool) public safety and community development.

Early in his employment, Healy presented to city council a plan which was called, “Bring Back the East End,” namely the East End Playground.

He said, “I believed that of all of the city parks, East End was and should be the jewel of the system. I identified shortcomings at the park, and developed a plan to upgrade a portion of those.”

The city manager said numerous improvements took place this past year, with a few others to be completed this year. Healy said that a number of people — families in particular — have been using the park grounds once again.

In addition to new equipment, security cameras have also been installed. The security cameras can be viewed at the police department and Four Seasons Pool

While on the subject of recreation, plans are to renovate the Park View Playground, and some additional youth equipment will be installed at Riverview Park.

Healy said that the 1 percent tax will continue to be used to pave streets and remove dilapidated buildings in the city.

The Marshall County Animal Rescue League this past week released figures dealing with occupancy of dogs and cats at the shelter.

It notes that the mission of the MCARL is to prevent the over-population of dogs and cats in our community through education on the responsibilities of pet ownership

MCARL officials said, “Our animal shelter provides a clean and stress-free temporary home for needy dogs and cats while we work to find responsible owners through a rigorous adoption program that includes health screening, vacation and mandatory spay and nutering of dogs and cats. We also provide spay and neutering services to the local community through the Tiffany Dlesk Spray/Neuter Clinic.”

It points out that the Marshall County Animal Rescue League and the Marshall County Commission work together. Primarily, the shelter is a safe haven for stray cats and dogs. County law enforcement also may impound animals that are suffering from neglect and abuse.

The shelter accepts pets from private owners who for some reason have decided that the they must give up their pet. The shelter “re-homes” adoptable pets. Adopters are screened carefully to ensure pets go to loving, lasting homes.

The rescue league manages the shelter for the Marshall County Commission. All costs for the care of cats and and kittens are provided by the rescue league. The league works diligently to raise funds to meet the needs of the shelter animals and for the Tiffany Dlesk Spray-Neuter Clinic.

The rescue league provides public education and classroom visits.

The Marshall County Commission provides the property to house the shelter. It also maintains the shelter, provides the humane officers, and most, recently spent some $500,000 to upgrade the facility which is located at 37 Animal Shelter Drive, near the intersection of Fork Ridge Road and Big Grave Creek Road.

Some of the figures supplied by the MCARL dealt with the past six years, after the Spay/Neutered Clinic opened. One of these figures is that 15,642 animals had been spayed or neutered.

As to the number of dogs and cats which made their way to the shelter in 2014, that figure was 1,017 dogs and 1,552 cats, while the figures for 2019 were 628 dogs and 1,135 cats.

Knights of Columbus Council No. 1907, and St. Francis Xavier Parish, Moundsville, will have their fish fry from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., or until sold out, on Friday, at Xavier Hall, 912 Seventh St.

White fish, macaroni and cheese, cabbage and noodles, perogies, fries, homemade desserts, beverages and free coffee will be available. Eat in carry out or phone Xavier Hall at 304-845-7080 for free local delivery.

A training meeting will be held at 2 p.m. today at the First Christian Church, 1200 Third St., Moundsville, for the Ohio Valley Night to Shine, the prom which will be held on Feb. 2. Volunteers for the event must attend at least one training session.

Other training sessions will be at the church at 2 p.m., Jan. 12; at 6 p.m., Jan. 13; and 6 p.m. Jan. 22.

The Moundsville Veterans Honor Guard will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Moundsville American Legion Post No. 3, 800 First St.

Charles “C.J.” Plogger has authored his fifth book pertaining to the history of the former West Virginia Penitentiary.

It is called, “365 Days in the West Virginia Penitentiary.”

The book describes, in day-to-day fashion, historical photos and newspaper headlines, of happenings at the prison.

The release of Plogger’s next book is slated for February. It is about one inmate.

Anyone wishing to register for the American Red Cross Blood Drive from 1-5 p.m. Thursday at the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville can do so by calling 800-733-2767, or visit Red Cross Blood.org and enter the name LIONS to schedule an appointment.

Walk-ins also accepted. The blood drive is being sponsored by the Moundsville Lions Club and the Moundsville Economic Development Council.

Entrance to the blood drive will be through the Eighth Street Wagon Gate.

Among upcoming Marshall County Health Department Clinic and Programs are:

Immunization Clinics –Jan. 6, 13 and 27, from 9 -11 a.m., and 1-4 p.m. No appointment necessary. All regular childhood and back-to-school immunization, including childhood seasonal flu vaccination.

PPD (TB) Skin Testing Clinic on Jan. 6, 13 and 27 from 9-11 a.m., and 1-4 p.m. PPD skin testing for exposure to TB. Appointments not necessary.

STD and HIV Testing Clinic. Free and confidential testing available on a regular basis. Call for an appointment call 304-845-7840 and ask for a nurse.

Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics on Mondays, with the exception of Jan. 22, from 8-11 a.m., and 1-4 p.m. Seasonal flu shots are offered for anyone 6 months of age an older. Call 304-845-7840.

The Health Department will be closed on Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King Day.

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