Streetscape celebrates successes, looks ahead to future projects
Streetscape Committee co-chairs Larry Lower and Sally Marshall led a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly completed sidewalk project and the new entrance to the Ice House Thursday afternoon, December 15.
After the ribbon was cut, there was a brief reception with cake and coffee inside the Ice House. The group then adjourned to a meeting room on the second floor for a strategy session hosted by the Streetscape Committee.
Planning for the future
The theme of the session was “Planning for the Future” and Marshall moderated the discussion.
Attending were representatives from Morgan County, the Town of Bath, Region 9, state parks, Travel Berkeley Springs, Chamber of Commerce, the Morgan Arts Council, Economic Development Authority, War Memorial Hospital and several concerned citizens.
Marshall said the purpose of the meeting was to share, coordinate and network among the represented groups and brainstorm
and develop a plan for the future.
“Before we leave today, our objective is to begin to develop a community action plan,” Marshall told the group. For this meeting, she limited the discussion to the immediate Berkeley Springs area.
To begin, the group discussed current projects that have already been
funded. These include improvements on Green Street near the Senior Center, rehabilitation of the Train Depot, the South Park Trail
at the U.S. 522 ball fields, Warm Springs Watershed planning, Economic Development Authority marketing, Tree planting, Ice House internal upgrades, Washington Heritage Trail signage and several other smaller projects for which grants have already been awarded.
“Some of these we could partner together and use each other’s grants for
matching funds because most of these grants, as
you all know, require a 20 percent cash match,” Marshall suggested.
The discussion then moved to unfunded projects. Those mentioned included the hospital connector road, North Berkeley Trail, Streetscape Phase III, street lighting on Mercer and other streets, pedestrian bridges at Mercer and Congress streets, mobile app for tourists and phase III of the town’s Water Line Replacement Project.
John McCracken talked about the need for a more comprehensive road plan and schedule and better communications with the Division of Highways.
Project wish listMarshall then asked the 18 people in attendance to list their three highest priority projects for the purpose of creating a prioritized wish list.
The list developed includes continuing Streetscape, the hospital connector road, bringing higher education into the county, the train depot and CSX lot behind, bringing more private investment into the town, job development and improving telecommunications.
Marshall then asked, “How can we make this happen?”
Jeanne Mozier suggested the group have quarterly meetings to coordinate projects.
Lower said you have to take the show on the road and get the right people involved. He suggested setting up a meeting with the highway department.
Economic Development Director Bill Clark agreed that meetings should be held quarterly.
Lower suggested using the Streetscape meetings that are already scheduled as a place to bring people together to participate in project planning.
Lower also suggested the group adopt the slogan “Berkeley Springs Forward” as a way to inspire enthusiasm.
Marshall asked Mozier to type up the notes and lists developed during the meeting. Chamber of Commerce Director Beth Curtin volunteered to distribute the notes to participants by email.
The Streetscape Committee meets the second Tuesday of every month at 3 p.m. in the Chamber of Commerce meeting room.