Roads to Prosperity going nowhere?

Brooke commissioners say promised funds cut deeply

FEELING CHEATED — Brooke County Commissioners Tim Ennis, from left, A.J. Thomas and Stacey Wise discuss the potential reduction of money originally promised to the county by the West Virginia Department of Transportation as part of the state’s Roads to Prosperity bond issue passed in 2017. -- Amy Neeley

WELLSBURG — Brooke County Commissioner Tim Ennis said the commissioners will be sending a letter to the West Virginia Department of Transportation about what they feel are unfair and negligent practices on the state’s part when it comes to the county’s roads.

During Tuesday’s commission meeting, Ennis said that when the residents of Brooke County helped to pass the state’s Roads to Prosperity bond issue in 2017, promises were made and they have since learned they likely will not be kept.

“We learned we may have the money seriously reduced or the projects removed altogether,” he said.

“We were originally promised $15 million,” Commissioner A.J. Thomas said. “We are now down to $8 million. That’s almost half we lost. The voters voted for this and you can’t just change that.”

One of the projects in question in the state Route 2 and 10th Street intersection in Wellsburg.

Ennis said when that intersection was designed in the 1960s it was a very different time and very different traffic pattern. He said the current setup simply cannot handle the amount of traffic it receives.

Members of the audience asked what they could do to help and Ennis suggested writing letters as well.

Ennis did want to point out this is not a local decision and the local Department of Highways staff is not to blame.

“I want to be clear,” he said. “We are not blaming local workers. This is coming from a higher (place).”

In other business, deeds were received for the two gravel lots located behind the courthouse and often used for extra parking. The lots are now officially the property of Brooke County.

Marvin Six of the Business Development Corporation updated the commissioners on the demolition of the Brooke Glass building.

“Everything is lined up (to start the work),” he said. “We are just waiting for the EPA and State Historic Preservation Office to sign the agreements.”

Commissioners will not meet Tuesday.