WV Wilderness Coalition Asks Hillsboro Town Council For Support For Cranberry Wilderness Designation
Hillsboro, WV – Ask anyone who’s ever ventured into the Cranberry Wilderness in Pocahontas County and they’ll attest to the stunning beauty of the area. Mike Costello with the West Virginia Wilderness Coalition thinks the area should be designated as a national monument. At the Hillsboro Town Council meeting in March, he asked for a letter of support for this proposal. Hillsboro Mayor Anne Walker has more.
“We received a presentation from Mike Costello, and there’s a proposal that they’re putting together for Cranberry Wilderness to be designated as a national monument,” says Walker, “which is different from the national park stuff that everybody’s been hearing about. Essentially he informed Council that it wouldn’t take in private land; it would just basically be a designation by either the President or Congress. They’re proposing it to help increase tourism dollars and the local economy.”
Walker says Council did not pass a resolution for a letter of support at their March meeting, but members are interested in the proposal and economic benefits it could provide to the town. Costello says more information will be available as the proposal progresses.
Mayor Walker also an update on the progress of the project to paint the inside of the town water tank.
“We lack $38,000.00 on that project and I informed Council that we’ve asked for legislative money to help with that,” she says.
Walker says they are looking at different sources of funding.
“We have one grant for $8000.00,” she says. “Our grant could be renewed one more time in June of this year, but we will lose that money by June of 2013, so we’re trying to get the remaining money together to renovate that water tank.”
Walker also spoke about another grant that’s helping ensure children have a safe commute to school.
“We have been the recipient of a Safe Routes To School’ grant and we’ve worked with the Hillsboro Elementary school to secure that grant,” says Walker. “The total monies for the construction for the sidewalk will be $100,000.00, and we’re starting at the corner of the school and coming south on the east side of Rt 219 as far south as we can come with the monies. The school will receive $15,000.00.”
“We’ve already began to implement a walking and biking to school program with Hillsboro Elementary. On Friday’s in the spring and the warmer parts of the fall we walk from the Presbyterian Church to school and it’s called Fun Walking Friday’s’. But there’s other parts of the program we’ll be doing; we’ll have t-shirts and logos and things like that the kids will design. The parents walk with us; the grant monies will be used to really help out the people in Hillsboro and the parents of the children. Their rewards for participating in different activities are going to be backpacks and pencils, school supply type items so that those parents don’t have to put out that money to provide a backpack and notebooks and things like that for the kids.”
Walker says they will use some of the money for a bicycle rodeo, but most of the grant will be put to use helping Hillsboro families. She says the Council is also looking into other grant funding for upgrades to the Lobelia and Denmar roads.
Thanks to Caleb Diller for the information in the report from Hillsboro Mayor Anne Walker.