Museum seeks additional money from Bath Council
Tammy Marggraf, director of the Museum of the Berkeley Springs, asked the Bath Town Council on February 20 to increase funding to the museum. She noted that over the years, funding from the town's hotel-motel fund has declined.
"What's at that corner is the heart of our town. That's where the museum is, and for hundreds of years it has been the heart of our town, and it continues to be the heart of our town," Marggraf said.
"When people come to the museum they ask what's happening. What
happened to the courthouse? When
did the Country Inn get sold?
What's going on with Coolfont and the castle? Always the castle. So what we do there is tell stories, stories of our town, and accurate stories," Marggraf said.
She pointed out that 90% of the people who come to the museum are visitors from out of town, who stay in hotels and motels.
"It's the story of our water. We are the Museum of the Berkeley Springs, not Morgan County, not West Virginia State, and not the Civil War – the Berkeley Springs, surrounded by the Town of Bath, surrounded by the town of Berkeley Springs, surrounded by the entire world," Marggraf said.
She asked the council to increase the museum's allocation from $800 to $2,500.
Mayor Susan Webster said requests for hotel funds have increased while tax receipts have not.
The museum is currently undergoing an expansion and exhibit update, with a grand opening scheduled for Saturday, March 17.
Pipe project update
Council members were told that bad weather delayed work on the water pipe project for two days recently. To date, 63% of the project is completed, with 58% of the contract time used.
Citizens are reminded to keep an
eye on their hot water tanks as work
is done in their area. The new water line system does not allow the
expansion of hot water from the tank back into the water main, as the old system did. Some hot water tanks may experience leaks from the increased pressure.
Work will continue on Green Street between Market and Fairfax streets, and on South Laurel Street between Independence Street (Davis Road) and Williams Street.
Project representative Brian Martin said he would talk to residents of Market and Green streets about placement of their water meters. The contractor does not want to dig through the historic walls on those streets.
Instead, he suggested placing those meters in the sidewalk. This will require extending the customer's side of the pipe to the meter. Martin said this could be done with copper tubing.
Mayor Webster read a letter from the Morgan County Commission commending contractor CowgirlUp for their help in getting service to the trailers that now house county offices.
In related news, Water Works Manager Kevin Hancock said the Health Department has approved a new plan for sampling and testing the town's water. The new plan is mandated because the number of Water Works customers has grown beyond 1,600.
Webster said the West Virginia Public Service Commission has agreed to do a Class Cost of Survey Study between April and June. The town asked for the survey last December. The study will assess the water company and identify ways to improve efficiency and water quality, and will look at rates.
Police Chief James Minton said the police are going to enforce the town's ordinance on snow removal from sidewalks.
The department has received calls complaining that local businesses were not shoveling the sidewalks. He said when officers approached business owners, some said that they couldn't or wouldn't shovel the sidewalk.
Minton asked council to amend the ordinance to include a steep fine for violators.
He also said that four-wheelers with snow plows attached should be allowed on sidewalks during snow emergencies.
Webster asked that the item be added to the agenda for discussion at the next meeting.
In other police news, Butch, the K-9 dog, has completed his training. Corporal Craig Pearrell was to start training with the dog this week. A 1998 Chevy Blazer has been purchased and modified for the K-9 unit.
Finance Committee Chairman David Crosby said the town is still in good financial shape, but that money is
Recorder Garnet Marsh said no more unauthorized spending over $25 will be allowed until the new budget takes effect on July 1.
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer received a quote of $2,975 to repair the railing and steps leading up to the Police Department entrance. Council asked that a second estimate be sought.
Council member Nancy Harvey reported that a book listing the 150 historic properties that have recently been surveyed is being put together.
The book will contain a listing and picture of each property and will be put on public display for comment when completed.
Harvey is also working to update the town's ordinance book.