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Kingwood looking to improve city pool

KINGWOOD — Kingwood is moving ahead with plans for improvements to the city pool.

Kingwood has the only municipal pool in Preston County. After a four-year closure, it reopened in 2017 to a warm public reception, only to operate at a loss last summer because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Councilman Mike Lipscomb noted at Tuesday’s meeting that council set aside part of the 1% municipal tax to add a splash pad at the pool.

“I think we need to get back on track with moving forward with the plan and put some things in place,” Lipscomb said.

He contacted Omni Associates, which did the original pool improvement plan, about revising the plan so it can be done in phases and that all the improvements blend well. Initially, the city hoped to get a grant to do it all at once but that hasn’t happened.

Omni could solicit bids and oversee construction, too, Lipscomb said. Council agreed to proceed.

“Then maybe we can go ahead with soliciting bids and getting this moving,” Lipscomb said.

“It’s something we were looking at doing with some of the money we’re collecting,” Mayor Jean Guillot said.

The pool has a recurring leak, and estimates were it could cost $75,000 to replace the liner. However, the city hopes to just repair the leak, as was done about 12 years ago, for a few hundred dollars, Lipscomb said.

In another recreation matter, Lipscomb said a State Division of Highways engineer will look at whether a pedestrian crosswalk can be put across Tunnelton Street, from the trail to the Craig Civic Center.

He had suggested a crosswalk to connect recreational facilities, including the pool, in the area.

Council also:

  • heard about the West Virginia Communities Risk Pool’s new property and casualty insurance available to municipalities. Council said it takes bids on insurance in April and the company can bid then.
  • discussed repairs or replacements to leaning and falling monuments at the city-owned Maplewood Cemetery. Council debated whether the perpetual care fund should be used to replace fallen markers.

Councilwoman Karen Kurilko will look at the ordinance that governs the fund and talk with Arthurdale Heritage Inc., about how to restore old markers.

  • City Clerk Michelle Whetsell said the city will record deeds on all cemetery plots sold from here on and add the recording fee to the plot cost. Many deeds were never recorded over the years by buyers, she said, creating confusion.
  • were told the State Public Service Commission (PSC) pushed the deadline for it to decide on the proposed garbage rate hike to March. The city attorney will be asked to contact the PSC to request a quicker decision.