BLUEFIELD — The city Board of Directors approved an intergovernmental agreement Tuesday with the city of Princeton for the purpose of “working together” on the development of a proposed equestrian center.

The motion to adopt the agreement was made by board member Jim Bailey, seconded by board member Ron Crabtree and approved unanimously. According to the agreement, the two cities wish to “unite in their desire to cooperate on the planning, development and funding” of an equestrian center.

“We are dealing with it this evening,” Bailey said of the agreement. “Princeton meets Monday.”

The agreement indicates the two cities will undertake a feasibility study of the equestrian center to include professional services such as “architectural, engineering and financial disciplines” and will pay for the services using funding being provided by the Shott and Hunnicutt foundations.

Committee members spearheading the equestrian project have received calls from firms across the nation, and locally, that are interested in the center. The proposed park would be used for competitions, shows and cross-country or trail riding for all breeds of horses. The facility could also be used for educational purposes.

The equestrian park is planned near Green Valley on property owned by both Bluefield and Princeton. The project is envisioned as a public-private partnership.

City Manger Mark Henne said the Regional One Planning and Development Council will serve as the administrator in the joint undertaking.

In other action Tuesday, the board agreed to rescind an agreement passed last month for the stabilization of the old Bluefield Daily Telegraph building, and voted to approve a revised agreement at a reduced cost.

“We adjusted our plan to meet our needs and bring us back into our financial needs,” Henne said. “The primary goal we have is to secure the building from future weatherization and deterioration.”

City Clerk Dreama Shireman also announced the city went an entire year without any injuries reported on the job leading to significant savings of between $70,000 and $80,000 in Worker Compensation funds.

“In the city, for the first time, we had no accidents reported that required no missed work time for the whole year, so we are proud of that,” Shireman said. “So we are saving a great deal of money by just making sure safety is a concern of the city and that we are practicing safety.”

Bailey said the estimated $80,000 in funds saved can now be used toward other city needs.

Shireman also reported Tuesday that because of the Fourth of July holiday, next Tuesday’s garbage will be collected on Monday, July 3, instead.

— Contact Charles Owens at

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