Group Exploring Riverfront Potential

3 public meetings planned; first is on Monday in Star City

Morgantown Dominion Post
3 October 2013
By Tom Terrarosa

The first of three riverfront needs assessment meetings will be held Monday in Star City to discuss business and community prospects for areas hugging the Monongahela River.

Residents are urged to participate in the sessions, said Steve Selin, West Virginia River Town Program manager. The meeting will be held from 5:15-7 p.m. at Terra Café, 425 Industrial St.

Star City Mayor Allen Sharp said the group will discuss its goals, then participants will walk around the park and riverfront areas to assess possibilities.

“It’s just looking at the area and taking an assessment of some of the things that could be done,” Sharp said.

“We ’re trying to see if there is a way that we can make things better for the riverside and riverfront.”

The River Town Program began in Pennsylvania river towns. Selin is responsible for bringing the program to West Virginia. The project is sponsored by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

The organization, named in memory of the only child of Michael and Sarah Benedum, has awarded grants in West Virginia and Pennsylvania in excess of $400 million since its creation in 1944, according to foundation material. The Benedums wanted the grants to benefit their “native and adopted homes.”

“This program is mainly intended to build on some of the local projects along the river,” Selin said of the program. “We ’re trying to get people together to identify potential projects and work on those projects.”

Selin said examples of the projects that have worked in Pennsylvania towns such as Point Marion, which can be done here, are designing public art projects, enhancing public access, building better walking routes down to the river, opening up better viewpoints along the river and creating boat rental locations.

“There are a lot of really neat projects that can come out of this,” Selin said. “We ’re hoping to identify some projects like that and get to work on them.”

Two more riverfront assessments are slated:

The Morgantown meeting will be held from 5:15-7 p.m. Wednesday, at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Bus Depot, Garrett Street.

Granville’s meeting will be held from 5:15 p.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 14, at the Granville Municipal Building, 319 Main St.

All three meetings are open to the public and will be used to assess needs for projects and develop plans for work.