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Ranson gets grant for downtown revitalization

June 11, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - Mildred Street, the main road that passes through Ranson, will be the focus of a street beautification project thanks to a $312,500 grant from the state Department of Highways, city officials said Monday night.

City officials plan to use the money to install new sidewalks, plant trees, and place benches in the downtown business area, City Manager David Mills said during a Ranson City Council meeting Monday night.

Many sidewalks in the Mildred Street area are deteriorating, and two years ago city officials began looking for ways to improve the appearance of the area, said Mayor David Hamill.

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"We have a responsibility to the citizens to make it more presentable, and certainly more safe," said Hamill.

The improvements will start at the traffic circle in the middle of the city and proceed west on Mildred Street. City officials will extend the improvements as far west as they can with the money they have, said Mills.

The city pitched in $62,500 for the improvements.

The project is expected to begin in summer or early fall and take about 90 days to complete, said Mills.

Ranson will join the City of Charles Town in efforts to revitalize downtown areas.

In Charles Town, city officials have been planning a $1.3 million revitalization that will include ripping up old sidewalks on Washington Street from Samuel to West Streets and the 100 block of George Street and replacing them, said Mayor Randy Hilton.

Other details of the project include new trees, new streetlamps, sitting benches, planters, trash receptacles and a historical interpretive area beside the historic Jefferson County Courthouse.

Mills said the city also plans to resurface all streets in town, a project that is expected to cost $4 million.

A majority of the city's streets need resurfacing and council member Duke Pierson has spearheaded the effort to repave all streets, said Hamill.

Council members have a couple of options on how to pay for the paving, said Mills.

The city could hire someone to repave all streets now and then determine a way to pay for the project, said Mills. Or the project could be spread out over an eight-year period, and the city gradually would pay for the project as it progresses, said Mills.

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