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Is Waynesburg's bicentennial really a bicentennial?

By DAVID HUTTON The Press-News Published: August 19, 2016 10:00 AM

WAYNESBURG -- When is a bicentennial not really a bicentennial? When the community can't verify exactly when it was incorporated.

That is the problem that the village of Waynesburg is facing with its upcoming celebration, which is set for Oct. 1.

Solicitor John Anthony was preparing a resolution for the bicentennial, and he decided that he wanted to go on more than just a story that appeared in a local media outlet.

"I started to check into the date," he said.

According to Anthony, there is a process that a community has to go through for incorporation.

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"At the time the Secretary of Secretary of State receives the petition is the date when the village would come into existence," he said.

Anthony contacted the Secretary of State's office and learned their records only go back to the 1850s.

There also is no record with the Stark County Auditor and many village records dating back that far were lost in a fire more than a century ago.

"I have no basis to say that this is the 200th anniversary other than a media report," Anthony said.

As he continued his research, Anthony learned of a book written by a local historian in the 1930s that recounted the celebration of the village's centennial in 1933.

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"That would make 1833 the year of legal incorporation," he said.

While the original plat for the town of Waynesburg was laid out in 1814, there is no concrete record of incorporation in 1816.

"If they celebrated a centennial in 1933, they must have been pretty sure that the village's incorporation occurred in 1833," Anthony added. "To celebrate our bicentennial would be inconsistent if there was a centennial celebration in 1933."

Despite the inconsistency, the party will go on. Volunteers have stepped forward to provide myriad services, including an electrical box and other necessities.

In other business, council:

/ AGREED to purchase three Kenwood radios for village police cars at a cost of $750. Council also authorized Chief William Bath to sell the old radios on eBay;

/ HEARD a fence dispute between the owner of Jukebox Pizza and the owner of the neighboring convenience store. Naji Abboud plans to erect a fence on the property line on the east side of his convenience store property, within four feet of the pizza shop. He also plans on building a drive-through;

/ DISCUSSED a new sign ordinance for the village. Councilman Jeremy Dierick said he doesn't want to do anything that would adversely affect businesses or churches in the village. The ordinance will be adjusted before it comes to council for consideration. "We have to have teeth in our ordinances," Councilman Albert Woodin noted during discussion;

/ AGREED to retain IBI Group Inc. as project manager for the West Maple Street improvement project, which is funded by grant money;

/ AGREED to seek a 10-year loan with Consumers National Bank to finance the purchase of the new village hall. The interest rate is 2.85 fixed with a payment of $538 a month;

/ HEARD that Mayor's Court took in $5,020 in July, with $1,020 going to the state, and the remainder for the general fund;

/ HEARD an update on the planned installation of a Blue Star Memorial marker at the village park;

/ PAID bills totaling $23,157.25, pending a question from council for Clerk Kathy Weisburn.

The next meeting of Waynesburg Village Council is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at township hall.

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