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Nitro Elementary to receive new electronic marquee sign

By Bridget May

NITRO, W.Va. -- Nitro Elementary School will soon have a new, electronic marquee sign thanks to Principal Michael Pack and parents Christy Wageman and Sherry Boggs.

Tuesday night, Wageman told city council that Nitro Elementary has an "immediate need" for a new marquee sign. He said the current sign has become a hazard because it is "barely standing" and the hinges are rusting off.

Wageman and Boggs spent the last six weeks asking local businesses for donations and organizing a five fundraisers to purchase the state-of-the art sign. So far, they've managed to raise $6,000 of the $11,863 needed.

"I know that's a lot of money for a sign;" Wageman said, "however, hopefully it will be there 30, 40, 50 years from now."

Pack told council the sign would help the school tremendously by providing a more effective way to notify parents of PTO meetings and early-out days.

Wageman told council that the marquee could also be used to post community events because it will be located next to city hall.

He estimates that after the fundraising is complete they will still be $4,000 short of raising the money needed to pay for the sign, which they hope to have in place by August.

Council members agreed the city would pay for the remainder of the cost.

Councilman Andy Shamblin said, "I think the important part of the identity of the community is bound within the schools that are there, so I think we should do everything we possibly can to support the elementary school and the high school."

Wageman and Boggs are also working to get in-kind donations for the removal of the current sign and for the masonry that will support it.

In other business, city council voted to form a committee to study a portion of Senate Bill 435, which allows 20 cities to participate in the next chapter of Home Rule.

Councilman John Montgomery explained that it allows for cities to do certain things that it normally would not be permitted to do, such as drafting ordinances and imposing a one percent sales tax to fund city projects.

If Nitro were to impose the sales tax, however, home rule requires the city to reduce or repeal the B&O tax.

The bill does not specify how much the tax must be reduced. However, it does state that if the city decides to reduce the B&O tax it can never again increased in the area that it was reduced without repealing the sales tax.

The committee, which is comprised of Mayor Casebolt, Councilwoman Laurie Elkins, John Montgomery, and Andy Shamblin, will study the bill and make a recommendation to the city as to whether or not to reduce the B&O tax.

City council also:

* Passed a motion for the emergency purchase of a replacement engine for a garbage truck from Blake's Remanufacturing for $9,800.

* Accepted a bid from Shiffler, an equipment company, in the amount of $3,936.69 to replace bathroom doors at all city parks.

n Passed a resolution authorizing the city to take part in a electronic commerce program, which will be implemented under the bill pay option on the city's new website.


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