WEIRTON - Mayor George Kondik will ask Weirton City Council Tuesday to sponsor a grant application for preservation of the Margaret Manson Weir Memorial Pool on Marland Heights.
Kondik said the group spearheading the save-the-pool effort, the Marland Heights Community Association, needs a municipal sponsor in order to tap into grant money through the West Virginia State Historic Preservation office. Sponsoring the grant would not commit any city funds toward the project, he said.
"There's no cost to do this," Kondik said. "It's just a means for them to perform the grant work that we're more than willing to do for the association, provided council approves it. They're asking for a grant, and they need a municipality as a conduit. We would be that municipality."
The city's park board had voted during the summer to demolish the pool, saying the cost to upgrade the property and make it handicap accessible was too high. Residents, however, weren't convinced and since have persuaded board members to give them a chance to see for themselves what the problems are and how much it would cost to fix them.
Kondik said if matching funds were to be needed, it would be the community association's responsibility to supply them.
While he said he cannot speak for council, Kondik isn't anticipating any problems getting council's approval of the resolution.
"They're just applying for the grant to see if they can get money for the engineering studies, so they can see exactly what is needed. There's no guaranteeing they'll get the grant money, but it's a step toward finding out."
Kondik reiterated its far too soon to say exactly what lies ahead for the pool, "but people are very passionate, they're very enthusiastic and they're going to do their due diligence to make sure they leave no stone unturned."
He said the grant application would be for around $30,000, enough for them to do their due diligence and complete a study to determine what would be involved in preserving the aged structure.
"This is a grant process, it has to flow through a municipality," he added. "So it's coming to council floor for approval at Tuesday night's meeting."
The resolution was a late addition to council's agenda for Tuesday. The public meeting is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers.
Among other items on the agenda are resolutions to provide detailed training and exercises for city firefighters; extend yellow "no parking" curbs on the east curb of Pike Street and on the south curb of Dickson Street; paint a 125-foot single center line on McHendry Street traveling east; placing liens on properties on Orr Street and Cove Road to recover costs incurred in demolition of unsafe properties; and authorizing a donation to the Weirton Community Bread Basket.
(Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)