By Erin Beck
West Virginia Division of Highways officials told city officials they will not install crosswalks for the city because sidewalks are not Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, City Manager Chad Edwards said.
“So, they’re not going to touch it because they’re afraid they’re going to get sued,” Edwards said, during the Dec. 12 City Council meeting.
He said city officials had met with Division of Highway officials earlier in the month.
The Division of Highways said it would install crosswalks on Pike Street and lighting if the sidewalks are brought into compliance.
City Council member Amanda Sayers, who also went to the meeting with highways officials, said she responded, “I’ll hold you to that.”
“If we want to install a flashing light at the school, we have to purchase it ourselves and maintain it ourselves, but they have no problem with us doing that,” Edwards said.
He said that would cost approximately $25,000 and members discussed approaching the school board and county to split costs.
Division of Highways officials did say they will replace old, faded street signs, Edwards said.
“That’s the one positive as of now,” he said.
During a previous Shinnston Development Authority meeting, SDA President James Coulter had encouraged creating a walking tour through town, with new crosswalks offering more accessibility, especially for those with disabilities, and signs letting pedestrians know how far they’d walked. Promoting walking would encourage support of local businesses, he said.
In related business, Edwards reported on the closure of Silly Boys comic book store and the opening of The Press, a recording studio at 223 Pike Street. According to a Silly Boys Facebook post, inventory would be sold online, and a “limited storefront opening” was anticipated by April 1, although the post did not say where.
Edwards said there are two vacant storefronts.
He also said a mechanic was opening a shop across from the green space and an established landscaping company was moving into city limits next to B3 boutique.
He also said Mayor Rodney Strait and he are looking into finding a local veterinarian.
“That’s one of the good things about doing business in Shinnston,” Edwards said. “The rent is much cheaper in the third city.”