Safety a concern in downtown Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Loitering, drug use, and general bad behavior were just a few of the concerns brought to Morgantown City Council about the condition of the downtown area.

Brian Kurcaba, a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, raised safety concerns about downtown and lamented that until something changes he’ll avoid taking his family to downtown.

“I was surprised when I went down here recently. It’s to the point I don’t feel comfortable bringing my children down to the library anymore,” Kurchaba said.

Kurcaba was not the only one who has noticed issues that have plagued the downtown area for some time now. Deputy Mayor Danielle Trumble noted that she’s heard similar complaints and met last week with the city administration and the chief of police about the situation. Trumble admitted she did not feel comfortable bringing her 8-year-old son downtown and has noticed an uptick in bad activity over the last several months.

“The mayor and I have been meeting with administration and the police chief on ways we can support him for more strict enforcement,” Trumble said.

Sixth Ward Councilman, Dave Harshbarger, also shared a similar experience at the newly renovated Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater, where his wife had taken a group of visiting Afghanistan women.

“This was a little before noon and there was quite a lot of active drug use, needles on the ground and people passed out,” Harshbarger said. ” When I think about what our amphitheater, what it can be and what has been, just to have that be the face of the amphitheater on a Saturday in the late morning was really disturbing.”