By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The old stairway to access the river from the front street of Thomas hasn’t changed in approximately 80 years. Constructed from railroad ties from when the tracks were utilized on a daily basis, the steps have been deteriorating and becoming a concern for the safety of patrons for some time. However, if you glance toward the river as you pass by, you will now see a beautiful, brand new staircase that matches the aesthetics of the rest of the City of Thomas and the people in it.
Thomas Mayor Matt Quattro said, “They needed replaced and Dick decided he wanted to do something for the town.” Dick and Joann Uchic, natives of the area, relocated back to their beloved home town upon retirement. During a phone call to Uchic, he said, “I did initiate the request several months ago looking ahead to Mountaineer Days.” “I saw a need there for a couple of years,” he added, when he and his wife decided they wanted to do something for the town. “We were born and raised here,” he said. “Since we’ve been back, we haven’t really done anything to give back to our city, we are proud of our heritage.”
After discovering the need, the Uchic’s offered to pay for the materials for the new stairway to the river. However, the giving didn’t stop there. Eddie Fulton of Fulton Construction volunteered his time and equipment to replace the steps using the donated materials. Mayor Quattro was asked if the new and improved accommodations came in useful for their recent celebration known as Mountaineer Days, and he responded, “We got them just in time.”
As Thomas has blossomed into an area that now not only appeals to tourists but also boasts many new businesses, the streets are always busy with foot traffic. The river is frequented often by those biking, hiking, fishing, and site seeing. Having this easy and safe access was a much needed necessity that came at the right time for this small city. Uchic said it