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Mayor says $200,000 will make town more tourist-friendly

November 26, 2004|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Town of Bath Mayor Susan Webster said the $200,000 that Berkeley Springs is receiving to improve the town's streetscape will "help visitors get around and make the town more tourist friendly."

A representative for U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., notified Webster this week.

"Merry Christmas to us and a big thanks to Congresswoman Capito," Webster said.

Capito's press secretary, R.C. Hammond, said Monday the funding was approved by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, and should be signed by President Bush sometime in December.

Funding should be handed out within months, Hammond said.

All of the funding consists of federal tax dollars West Virginians have already paid, and is being returned to the area, Capito said in a news release.

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Webster said she met earlier this year with Capito, who asked what the town's needs were. Webster said she told Capito one of her "pet peeves" was the lack of sidewalks in town. Both visitors and the town residents will benefit from more sidewalks, Webster said.

For example, Webster said, "Green Street has no sidewalks and is a heavily traveled street."

Webster said the money will be used for new signs and also to provide better lighting in town, especially in Berkeley Springs State Park. She said more lights without glare are needed.

"Lighting with a yellow glow cuts the glare and is more attractive," she said, "and new signs will help give the tourist trade directions."

The streetscape funding is an economic development grant, said Webster, and will be used to improve sidewalks, lighting and signs. Exact plans for the money have not been made, she said, and the town has not received any written notification.

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