SPIRIT OF CHRIST – The Follansbee Christmas in Park Committee presented a check to the Follansbee R.E.A.C.H. Program with two young people with special medical needs. On hand for Monday’s presentation were, from left, front: Xaria Utt and Jilli-Ann Ragan; and back, Christmas in the Park committee members Dana Johnson, Stacey Williams and Bill Secrist; Russel Kocher of Follansbee R.E.A.C.H. Program; and Christmas in the Park committee member Pam Welsh.
FOLLANSBEE – The fruits of a holiday-themed party, the achievements of the local cheerleading squad and plans to improve lighting along Main Street were all before the Follansbee Council on Monday.
After some discussion of solar lights being installed on a trial basis at the corner of Penn and Main streets, the council plans to request more for west Main.
Second Ward Councilman Charles McCoy, who has overseen the pilot lights for some time, suggested they could be at least a temporary measure until regular lights are installed.
Some have questioned whether the lights can capture enough solar energy in winter to illuminate the street at night.
City officials have received complaints about the street, which is part of State Route 2, and the lack of lighting, especially at the end of the city.
The Council earlier approved the installation of new street lights on Main from Allegheny to Ohio streets using $100,000 in USAID funding awarded to the city, with other street lights to be addressed as they become available. some fees.
The plans called for replacing the broken light bulbs, with workers digging holes in the street to reach them.
But Mayor David Velegol Jr. He said that this would require the city to completely repair parts of the road to comply with West Virginia’s highway system.
So, the plans turned to removing and replacing the sidewalks around the lights, a move that councilor at large John Casinelli said would help revitalize the city.
Velegol said he was told another round of federal funding could be received by the city “but until we see it, we don’t know.”
When asked about the time needed to install solar and conventional lights, he said it is possible that the devices can be installed in three to four weeks while replacing the current ones. and daily and travel routes will take three to four months.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Alexis Russel said if the solar lights on Main Street are no longer needed, they could be moved to another location, such as Follansbee Park.
The council is expected to consider the solar ad at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Next Monday.
In what has become an annual tradition, representatives from Follansbee Christmas in the Park appeared to donate the funds raised by the annual event to three beneficiaries: Follansbee R.E.A.C.H. The program, a local food pantry, and two young people with special medical needs.
Bill Secrist, chairman of the theme party committee, donated $2,000 to the food pantry and $3,500 each to the families of Jilli-Ann Ragen and Xaria Utt.
Secrist and others noted that both girls were diagnosed at a young age with special conditions – Ragan with encephalitis and Utt with asthma – but were able to adapt and overcome them.
Secrist thanked city officials and crew for their support and assistance with the two-day event, held annually at Follansbee Park; Trinity Health System, to serve as a major sponsor; and the Nelson family, who loaned several of their life-size nutcrackers for display.
He also thanked the volunteers who worked with him and the many vendors who participated.
Founded by Secrist and Kathy Santoro, the event has raised thousands of dollars for local charities and youth with special health needs since its inception 20 years ago.
The money is raised through vendor fees and various drawings held during the event.
Velegol and council also recognized the Brooke Middle School Cheerleaders for their recent successes in the Junior OVAC and PAC 8 competitions.
Coached by Haley Bowman, the team includes Marlee Ewusiak, Kennedy Guiddy, Madison Barnhart, Ella Burdette, Kayla Elson, Gabriella Hornick, Jaiden Lazear, Arianna Pinacchio, Sophia Sacripanti, Addison Scherich, Raelin Stoll, Gianna Horni Fornisha and Ela Braya Mazeika.
(Scott can be reached at email@example.com.)