NITRO, W.Va. -- Nitro Mayor Dave Casebolt appointed a committee to evaluate bids from landscape architects to beautify sections of Route 25, 21st Street to 40th Street and the triangle at the base of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge during a regular City Council meeting Tuesday."Criteria No. 1 in the economic development plan adopted last year is to attract investment and increase housing values in the city through a beautification project," Casebolt said. "This is the first step in accomplishing that goal."In a related matter, council appointed a committee to study plans to enhance entrances into the city by erecting statues of World War I soldiers, commonly referred to as doughboys, with signs indicating the historical significance of Nitro during that conflict.Council members also discussed the need to upgrade and repair sidewalks throughout the city."While our grant application for Streetscape Phase III was recently denied, we plan to re-apply and will include extra sidewalk repair and installation in the plan," Casebolt said.Council also approved agreements with the Cross Lanes - Nitro Little League for use of Nitro's EMT building on Plant Road and for maintenance of Nitro City Park."The standard-language 'hold harmless' agreement ensures that the Little league furnishes their own insurance," attorney Johnny Brown said.A hold harmless agreement is a legal agreement in which one party is considered not liable for damages arising from the terms of the agreement -- in this case, the city of Nitro would not be responsible for any damages or liability issues stemming from Cross Lanes' use of its facilities.
"This protects the city and the little league," Casebolt said. "This type of agreement should be in place for any organization that uses city property."The city agrees to pay all utilities at both locations, as well as gasoline used to fuel lawn mowers and other equipment used to cut grass on the fields, he said.Councilman John Montgomery recommended that police, fire and public works officials complete plans to design an emergency communications plan as part of the Home Rule application process, which is currently being compiled.Council approved the first reading of an ordinance adopting the international building code as required by the state of West Virginia. They also approved a list of poll workers and alternates for the March 8 excess levy election.Casebolt reported that the city's 2014 calendars, designed by students at Nitro High School, are at the printers and should be mailed out by the end of January."They did an outstanding job, especially since it's their first time," he said. "Next year they should have them completed earlier and mailed out by mid-December."