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Weirton City Council to fund bus passes through Community Development Block Grant

WEIRTON — Weirton Council on Monday passed its Community Development Block Grant budget, amending the proposed spending plan with the hope of providing more transportation opportunities for residents of the city’s downtown.

The city is set to receive $424,688 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the fiscal 2020 CDBG budget.

Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh recommended the amendment, which removed $10,000 from A Child’s Place CASA and transferred the funds to Weirton Transit Corp.

“Several things have changed,” Marsh said, noting the pending closure of the downtown Kroger store in particular.

The additional funds for Weirton Transit, he said, would provide bus passes for low- to moderate-income residents in order to assist them with traveling to grocery stores and other businesses in the city.

As a result, CASA will now receive $4,000 from CDBG, while Weirton Transit will have $17,000.

Earlier in the meeting, Rhonda Stubbs, executive director of CASA, implored council to continue providing funds for the agency, which provides volunteers to serve as advocates for area youth involved in abuse and neglect cases.

“We don’t want to risk losing a single dollar from CDBG,” Stubbs said, noting approximately 40 percent of their cases involve youth in the city of Weirton.

Stubbs explained it costs $985 per child per year for CASA’s services.

Kim Weaver, executive director of the Weirton Christian Center, also was on hand to reinforce the organization’s request for CDBG funds, explaining the Christian Center serves more than 200 Weirton youth. The funds will be used to provide transportation insurance costs.

While the Weirton Christian Center has provided after-school programs and other services for many years, Weaver said they are increasing their focus on tutoring services after noticing an increased slide in education retention in recent months as schools have shifted to online learning.

“We need the funding more than ever,” Weaver said.

The Christian Center is set to receive $5,000 from CDBG.

Under administrative costs, the general program administration, covering management of the funds, will receive $60,000, with $4,000 allocated toward fair housing activities.

Under infrastructure improvements, $297,688 has been set for street paving.

Of the remaining funds, all falling under public service categories, $10,000 will be used by the Weirton Park Board for facility passes, with another $2,000 for sport league entry passes and the Weirton Police Department will receive $25,000 for its community policing program.

In other business, council approved:

¯ A resolution for the demolition of a structure at 3613 Wood St., at a cost of $14,500 by Pulice Construction;

¯ A resolution for asbestos abatement by Justice Business Services, also for 3613 Wood St., for $1,437;

¯ An ordinance to place stop signs at each end of Elwood Lane;

¯ An ordinance updating and amending the city’s building code;

¯ An ordinance amending the city’s garbage and rubbish collection code;

¯ A resolution to renew a contract with Accela for support and maintenance of the city’s customer interaction website, at $6,411.44;

¯ A resolution for the 2020 Amended Citizen Participation Plan

¯ A resolution for the Transportation Alternative Plan, with a city match of $98,375 from its Tax Increment Financing funds, for a sidewalk enhancement program on Park Drive;

¯ A resolution for a contract for road de-icing salt at $62.94 per ton.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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