Facelift for Middlebourne
The Town of Middlebourne will soon be getting a much-anticipated “facelift” on its Main Street, according to Middlebourne Mayor Gayla Fisher. “Good things come to those who wait,” she said, adding, “we are eagerly looking forward to our notice to proceed.”
Council members discussed the project with Clint Pifer, of C.L. Pifer and Associates, LLC, of Parkersburg, who is the project designer for the Main Street Revitalization Project. The long awaited upgrade to the Main Street of Middlebourne is “so close we can taste it,” Pifer informed council.
“As soon as we get notice to proceed, we have two more steps to complete.” Pifer explained that council must place advertisements for bids, which must run for three weeks, and then must choose the lowest bidder for the contracting job. “We have had a lot of interest in the project,” he commented. “Contractors are contacting our office now.”
The Downtown Revitalization Project is a grant-funded initiative that allows rural communities to upgrade lighting, sidewalks, and other areas while keeping the historical integrity of the town’s image intact. Successful downtown projects may not only expand business, employment and shopping opportunities but also increase and strengthen the social activity and quality of life in the community.
The project has been in the planning stages for some time. Council members have been pursuing the grant funding necessary for the project, keeping the dream of re-vamping the town’s main street alive through many delays.
“The process is very long and drawn out,” commented Pifer. “But we are going to get it done this construction season.” Pifer asserted that the enterprise will be ready to begin in a matter of weeks. Council members, Mayor Fisher and Pifer went over blueprints and discussed aspects of the design at last night’s meeting.
In the works for the upcoming project are such things as Victorian style lights with “banner” arms, equipped with wiring that will allow Christmas lights to be plugged into them. Also on tap is new sidewalks, bench seating areas, more accessible curbs, and redesign of some landscaping, as well as decorative iron fencing.
Council plans to incorporate upgrades to the water and gas lines during the construction phase of the project as well. The project will be done in stages, and the utility portion of the job will require separate funding. Council voted to begin the bid process as soon as notification was received from the state. Bob Clem made the motion, seconded by Rodney Miller.
A request by the Baptist Church in Middlebourne to install a walkway was also voted upon and approved. The meeting was then adjourned. Attending Monday evening’s meeting were Mayor Gayla Fisher, council members Dave Meyers, Rodney Miller, Verna Henthorn, Suzann Farhatt, and project designer Clint Pifer.