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Bath councilman wants the town to withdraw from Parks and Recreation board

September 09, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Bath town councilman Jim Slough resigned from the Morgan County Parks and Recreation Board and suggested the town stop serving on it.

"We are wasting our time in participating on that board," Slough said at Tuesday night's Bath Town Council meeting.

"In my opinion, the board has a mind of its own and feel they are independent to the town and the county," he said.

Slough said this is in spite of the fact that the county owns the parks and recreation properties.

He said he resigned his position as a town representative because of the recent environmental issue involving the new soccer field and the way Parks and Recreation handled it.

When Morgan County Commissioner and Parks and Recreation board member Stacy A. Dugan brought the soccer field problem to the board before she alerted the commission, she was met with opposition by the members, Slough said.

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The soccer field was built on aformer salvage yard that dismantled old vehicles. Last spring, glass and metal pieces were found coming up through the grass, and Dugan was told by parents and coaches that the field was hazardous.

After Dugan brought it to the attention of the Morgan County Commission, the field was closed. It will remain closed until it can be assessed next spring. Parks and Recreation will repair the field by adding grass seed that will create a lush field and prevent the glass and metal from coming up.

Acting director Bruce Beadenkopf "does a good job and is very dedicated, but if he is opposed to something Dugan suggests, the board will go along with Beadenkopf," Slough said.

Board president Kenny Mason said Wednesday that Dugan and Beadenkopf have disagreed on some issues, and the board "mostly agrees with Bruce."

Bath Mayor Susan J. Webster said the Parks and Recreation board was set up 10 years ago, being comprised of nine members - three each from the town, the county and the board of education.

She said the Town of Bath does not own any of the parks.

Slough said if Parks and Recreation does things on its own, there is potential liability and they will eventually get sued.

"Why are we on the board? We don't have a dog in this fight," he said.

Webster said town council will decide if the town wants to stay on the board.

The town has two active members serving on the board, she said.

The Town of Bath is the local government inside Berkeley Springs.

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