Community, Latest News, Monongalia County

Commission reviewing park structure as part of budgeting process

MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Commission wants to take a closer look at the leadership structure of its park system.

In particular, the commission is weighing the idea of hiring an overall park director, who would work directly with the superintendents of the county’s three parks — Camp Muffly, Mason-Dixon Historical Park and Chestnut Ridge Park.

Following Wednesday’s commission meeting, Commission President Sean Sikora said the current setup, in which each park’s superintendent works with a commission-appointed advisory board, lacks continuity from one park to the next.

“So we’re also looking at how the superintendents are interacting with the advisory boards. We want to make sure they’re all interacting the same way,” Sikora said. “They’re not giving you direction. You’re the superintendent. You’re in charge. They advise you when needed.”

Each commissioner serves as a non-voting member of a park advisory board — Sikora (Mason-Dixon), Commissioner Tom Bloom (Chestnut Ridge) and Commissioner Jeff Arnett (Camp Muffly). 

“What happens now a lot of times is I’ll get a question and then I’ll end up going to [Facilities Director Carlos Goss], when there should be someone the superintendents can go to directly,” Bloom said.  

Sikora said this is one of the considerations being weighed as part of the county’s budgeting process. 

He added that a parks director would help ensure the individual and collective park procedures would not only serve the public, but the county’s park employees.

“We don’t want to micro-manage them, but we do want to make sure there’s a proper level of oversight,” he said.  

In other commission news, Monongalia County Litter Control Officer Tim Fitchett provided the litter control office’s annual report. 

Highlights of the report included the work of the roadside litter crew, which covered roughly 395 miles in 2020 and removed 25.3 tons of solid waste, 348 tires, and cleared 56 small dump sites.

Additionally, the county’s recycling program collected a total of 512.32 tons of recycling in 2020, divided between 456.79 tons at the county’s recycling center, in Westover, and 55.53 tons at the Saturday recycling drop site, at the Hornbeck Road Walmart, which ceased last March due to COVID-19.

In June, the commission said it was likely moving away from the Saturday program outside of special occasions to focus on the recycling center in Westover, which is open daily, from 7 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Lastly, the commission approved a resolution declaring March National Social Work Month.

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