BEECH BOTTOM - Efforts to renovate the Beech Bottom Municipal Building have received a boost from Chesapeake Energy.
The natural gas company has donated $15,000 toward the cost of applying a new stucco-like facade to the building similar to that found the Aspen Dental building near the Fort Steuben Mall.
Beech Bottom Councilman Ted Westfall said village funds will be used for the remainder of the project, which will cost about $32,000.
Westfall said Unique Walls and Ceilings of Wellsburg, the contractor for the project, is expected to begin in the next two weeks. The work was slated to begin earlier but was postponed because other projects undertaken by the contractor were delayed by rain, he said.
The old stucco and brick around the building's windows had been chipping off and falling, leading village officials to remove much of it to ensure visitors' safety, said Mayor George Lewis.
Stacey Brodak, director of corporate development for Chesapeake Energy, said, "Chesapeake Energy is proud to support the Village of Beech Bottom with this donation. We are committed to serving the areas where we operate, and we're pleased this money will be applied to improve the building which is central to the village and its residents."
Village officials noted the natural gas company has extended a pipeline through the village to pump water from the Ohio River near the former EZ Pool marina to a drilling operation in Western Pennsylvania.
The village doesn't own the river and can't collect a fee for it or any taxes, so the company offered a contribution to the village, Westfall said.
The facade is the latest improvement planned for the municipal building.
In recent months new doors and windows were installed to make the building more energy-efficient.
The village has been awarded a $32,000 state Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant for the windows and doors as well as the future addition of solar panels atop the building to heat it.
Beech Bottom was one of 130 municipalities and counties awarded a total of $90 million for the use of alternative energy sources.
Issued through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the funds were secured for Beech Bottom and other local government entities by the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission.
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