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Mon County to study accessibility of county parks

MORGANTOWN — As Monongalia County’s director of parks and recreation, J.R. Petsko knows just about every square foot of Camp Muffly, Chestnut Ridge and Mason-Dixon Historical Park. 

Admittedly, he’s far-less knowledgeable when it comes to making those spaces as welcoming as possible for individuals dealing with mobility issues.

At Petsko’s request, the Monongalia County Commission on Wednesday approved an $8,100 contract with Illinois-based WT Group to provide an accessibility assessment of the county’s parks. 

He said the three properties have received a list of upgrades over the last eight years due primarily to the [parks, trails and recreation] levy, “but this is an area we’re still short on.” 

This assessment, Petsko continued, will serve as a guide over the next decade or so. 

“A lot of us just don’t have the training in what those improvements need to be. So having this study is going to be incredibly important. They’re going to give us a three-phase roadmap that will tell us what we need to do immediately and what we need to do as far as medium- and long-term planning,” he said. 

“So, hopefully, if the levy continues to pass and we can continue to upgrade our parks, we’ll have real information guiding what we need to do to make our parks more accessible for everybody.” 

The county-wide parks, trails and recreation levy is one of four levies seeking renewal in the May primary. If passed, it would generate $1,172,643 annually. Of that, $658,420 would go to the county park system. 

In other commission news, the body approved $10,000 for the 2024 edition of the Mon County Baseball Classic, to be played over the next two weekends at Kendrick Family Ballpark at the Monongalia County Baseball Complex and Dale Miller Field, in Mylan Park. 

The funds will come from a $25,000 line item set aside by the commission each year to promote community use of the University Town Centre stadium that serves as the home of WVU Baseball and the West Virginia Black Bears. 

According to Commission President Sean Sikora, the games to be played Friday and Saturday will be at KFB and include Morgantown, Cabell Midland, Hurricane, Bridgeport and John Marshall. 

Games will be split between KFB and Dale Miller Field on April 19-20. That slate of games will include University, Morgantown, Bridgeport, Goretti (Md.), Wheeling Park, Spring Mills, Musselman and Jefferson.

Admission to all the games is free. 

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