Athletic facilities and the library board of directors were dominant topics at South Charleston's city council meeting.
Mayor Frank Mullens challenged city council to upgrade the athletic fields at Little Creek Park.
When the city built The Rock sports fields at the park in 1997, "we had the best facilities in the state," Mullens said. "We're not the best any more. Kenova has Astroturf on their Little League field. A game there was televised on ESPN. Boone County has a turfed field."
Mullens said South Charleston should install artificial grass on one baseball field, one softball field and one football-soccer field. Other fields would remain natural grass. That way, no matter what surface children might need to practice or play on, it would be available.
"This is my vision," Mullens said. "We need to zero in on this. I think it's important to our kids."
It's also an economic development issue, he said. The Little League state tournament held at Little Creek Park last week helped fill several of the hotels in the city, he said.
The mayor challenged the council's Parks Committee to figure out how to pay for the improvements.
Mullens' comments came Thursday evening, when the council chambers were filled with members of the South Charleston-Dunbar Youth Soccer League.
The city assisted the league with team entry fees for the FestivALL soccer tournament, held recently at the Trace Fork soccer complex. Colleen O'Leary, speaking on behalf of her fellow soccer players, thanked the city for its support.
Six of the league's teams participated in the tournament. Four of the teams advanced to the championship match in their respective age group. The U10 Orange Heat team won the girls' U10 Travel Division and the U10 Barracudas won the U10 Boys Recreation Division.
Regarding the South Charleston Public Library Board of Directors, Mullens said that after Councilwoman Meg Britt was appointed to the board, "she brought some things to my attention. Some things were done by the board she was not privy to when they went into executive session. Unfortunately, there were times she felt left out."