Fairmont City Council sets public hearing for Norwood Park project

Jan. 25—FAIRMONT — Next month, Fairmont City Council will decide the fate of the Norwood Park project.

Tuesday night, the council agreed to set a public hearing at its Feb. 15 meeting to hear public input in preparation to approve the final details of the planned accessible park in East Side.

Norwood Park, as it stands now, has been neglected for years and the city agreed to revitalize the park. After years of planning, the matter is coming to a vote.

If passed, the ordinance will approve the start of construction and lock down the funding for the project. The park will be built using $2.5 million in tax increment funds, $1.05 million from funds acquired through the American Rescue Plan and $85,000 in donations from the Disability Action Center and Novelis.

The ordinance also says the budget must not exceed $4 million.

To read an in-depth look at the Norwood Park plan, click here.

Demolition program

At its Tuesday meeting, council also approved the purchase of 17 properties around the city that will be slated for demolition. City Manager Valerie Means said that the demolition program is continuing and funding is secured for the 13 demolitions that will happen this year.

"Demolition permits have been obtained for the next round of demos and that will consist of 13 properties," Means said. "This ordinance is a continuation of our clean up of blighted properties."

The ordinance passed unanimously.

Road acquisition

The council approved an ordinance that will move two roads that were previously privately-owned and maintained under city ownership.

The two roads are within the Speedway Business Park that is under development on Speedway Avenue in East Side.

Glass Avenue and Bottleworks Avenue will now be maintained by city work crews. Fairmont Director of Planning Shae Strait said that this will help the developers grow the location.

"Planning and Public Works have been working with the developers for a number of years including storm water management and roadway development," Strait said. "Public works has assured us that these streets were built to the standard for the City of Fairmont."

The ordinance passed unanimously.

Main Street Fairmont

Main Street Fairmont Director Dan Swiger spoke to council Tuesday to tout the organization's successes in the last year.

Main Street held many events that filled downtown Fairmont, secured $70,000 in funding to repair facades of historic buildings in and around downtown and help foster small businesses looking to locate in downtown.

"Tonight, I want to thank council for your continued support you've given to Main Street Fairmont," Swiger said. "This partnership we've had with the city... we're really lucky to have it."

Looking forward, Swiger also announced that Main Street will be hiring its first full-time director in decades and he will be stepping down from the current part-time role.

City Council's next meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Public Safety Building on Quincy Street.

Reach David Kirk at 304-367-2522 or by email at dkirk@timeswv.com.