MORGANTOWN — Last summer was the Parklet.
This summer, the Pedlet.
Morgantown City Council’s recently approved the expenditure of $119,308 out of the city’s capital escrow budget, which is money used for one-time projects.
Of those funds, $20,000 will be used to create the city’s first pedlet in front of Gibbie’s Pub & Eatery, located at 368 High St.
City Manager Kim Haws said the Mills Group-designed outdoor dining space will be similar to the Parklet — also a Mills Group design — that popped up in front of Tin 202 last summer, but with one improvement.
“What it allowed for was to be able to move dining out toward the street and take several parking spots along High Street. One of the concerns that we had was that it created separation between the serving establishment and the tables,” Haws said. “So this year we’re attempting an experiment called a pedlet. What this does is take the same area of parking, but reroutes pedestrian traffic around the dining area.”
Haws said the Gibbie’s pedlet should be in place in the next 30 days. All the work is being done in-house by city crews.
Given the resurgence of COVID-19, Mayor Jenny Selin said she would like to see “as many pedlets as we can manage” downtown.
“That’s why, if there’s success and there’s other interest, whatever we can do to keep the momentum rolling because there’s only a certain amount of season left,” she said.
Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli noted the city will continue to waive its fee for outdoor dining permits through the end of the calendar year.
The capital escrow budget amendment also included $50,000 for the Woodburn building, which helped prepare it for two new tenants — The Shack Neighborhood House and The Mountaineer Homeschoolers Hub — and address issues with the building’s HVAC and hot-water heater.
Funds were also included for the city’s landlord incentive program ($22,250) and for the Deckers Creek undercut repair project being undertaken by the Mon River Trails Conservancy ($22,000).