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TOWN HALL UPDATE - January 25, 2007

"Anyone can move a mountain if he really tries.

Anyone can move a mountain, you must realize.

It will take a little time, a lot of faith, make up your mind,

And you’ll arrive at where you strive to go.

So never be afraid to dream, for that’s what you must do.

If you never dream at all, then your dreams can’t come true.

Any one can move a mountain, everyone should know,

Just believe it and you’ll find it so.

 (written by Johnny Marks, for TV’s “Smokey The Bear”)

I attended the meeting of the mayor and council on Jan. 2 and was frustrated by the feelings that the Town Hall committee is moving too slow and not showing enough progress.

Below is a time line to show what has been accomplished in a two-year period. This information comes from the Town Hall committee and also from reports given at regular meetings of the town council.

September 2004:

An inspection recommended that the current town hall be vacated for safety reasons.

January 2005:

The Town of Grantsville appointed the Town Hall committee.

Town offices were relocated to the main floor of the former Calhoun County jail.

Applied for and received all necessary permits from the Dept. of Environmental Protection.

Moved all endangered utility lines.

It was announced that ECIRP, LLC, in Charleston offered to remove metal from old building and supply town with dumpster for collection of metals and steel. They will pay the town for metal received and remove old water tanks, but cannot pay for this metal.

Creston Oil Corp. offered to demolish the building, with no cost to the town, after the asbestos has been abated and the metal removed.

Cerrone Associates, Inc., was chosen to provide the town with a design for a new building, which will include space for lobby, council room, offices, storage, restrooms, police area, kitchenette and two-bay garage. The design will cost $4,000 and money already in the bank can be used to pay for it. Cerrone Associates is willing to defer payment until additional funding is available, or the project is abandoned.

A letter of request was drafted by the chairman, Frank Venezia, to be submitted for Budget Digest funds.

July 2005:

Drawings by Cerrone Associates were presented for new Town Hall. These were created from input by Town Hall committee, mayor and council. The proposed building includes approximately 1,100 square feet within a structure 22 feet deep by 44 feet long. Variable cost is $262,470. This depends on choices made in construction and finishing materials.

The Town Hall fund has reached nearly $8,000. These funds are from local donations and support. A request for Budget Digest funds has been submitted through the help of Delegate William Stemple, and representatives from Alan Mollohan and Shelly Capito have been approached for support. Calhoun County Banks and Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center have made financial commitments.

August 2006:

A local firm furnished equipment, labor and supplies to demolish and remove all debris of the town hall and fence off the site. Delegate William Stemple contacted the National Guard for help in hauling fill to site and backfill it to level grade. The fill dirt is also being donated. The site must still be filled.

A new town hall will be a source of community pride and promote a positive public image. It will be a showcase for bringing in economic development and remain an increasingly valuable asset for the town. The town will have the security of owning property. The donated services saved the town thousands of dollars. Valuable services have been donated that represent thousands of dollars. Most of these services are from firms located outside of the town limits of Grantsville. If the town chooses to give or sell the property, it will have an adverse effect on future projects in the whole county, because it will show poor money management.

If the town hall site is sold, the cash on hand could jeopardize other pending town grant projects, such as recreation and water systems. The replacement for the old town hall can not be just an office space, it must house the police department, the waste management department and town storage. A commitment has been made. This money cannot be used for other purposes.

*          *          *          *          *

What can we do? The Town Hall committee meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is Monday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m., in the Calhoun Courthouse little courtroom. We can show an interest in what is being done. This is our county seat and center for all county business, not just Grantsville. Even small donations will raise the amount for matching funds and show that our citizens care. If each person in the county donated at least one dollar, it would show that we do not give up. Donations can be made to the Town Hall Committee, in care of Calhoun County Bank.

Dan Rather once said, “If all difficulties were known at the start of a long journey, most of us would never start at all.” This journey has been started and we can overcome the difficulties.

CALHOUNERS DO NOT QUIT!

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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