By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
The City of Portsmouth now has a policy that governs the display space at 515 Chillicothe St. (the former Marting’s building). Groups requesting space will be required to agree to various terms and conditions.
Crystal Weghorst, office manager of the city engineering department, said having groups sign up for a display was something the city should have done a long time ago.
“The allotment of time for a display shall be no longer than six months from the date of entry into the space,” Weghorst said, quoting the agreement. “After such time the Mayor’s office is to be contacted and arrangements are to be made to remove the exhibit. The mayor may extend the time frame at his discretion. If there is an exhibitor in there and no one else is requesting space then we can let them stay.”
SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss And Continuing Everyday) has been told by Portsmouth city officials to remove their display in the former Marting’s building window in downtown Portsmouth.
The city has offered SOLACE different space in the same building, but SOLACE founder Jo Anna Krohn says the group will not accept it and will move out as early as next week.
“After talking with a majority of the group we’ve decided we’re not going to move to a different window. We’re just going to take everything out and store it and hopefully find a permanent display space,” Krohn said. “We have a few meetings in January where we hope to gather ideas and locations for a permanent display space.”
Weghorst said after the first of the year the Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District will be putting up a display in that window and would be the first group required to sign an agreement. According to Weghorst the District intends to do that.
Weghorst said Veterans Helping Veterans and Others is the only other group that currently has a display in the former Marting’s building windows.
“I’m not sure when that display was put in there. At the time that we go down there to set up the Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District display, we will put that stuff back into the building and have an empty space there for the sake of fairness,” Weghorst said.
John Foster, founder of Veterans Helping and Others, said the group is still interested in the space.
“We’ve got to get down there and replace some pictures, the sun has bleached some of them out. We plan to get down there after the first of the year. If they do not have any plans for the space we would like to keep it. We’re helping out homeless and needy veterans and we would like to have a display down there to keep people aware of us and what we are doing,” Foster said.
Weghorst said any group that’s interested in the display space should contact the city engineering department at 740-354-7557.