City Council holds April Meeting; Approves 1940s Home Repair Program
The City of Wheeling Development Committee and City Council met today. Home repair program approved, accepting applications until June 4.
The Wheeling Development Committee and Wheeling City Council met today, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, for their first meeting of the month. These two meetings were the first for recently appointed City Clerk Jessica Zalenski. All votes today were cast by voice instead of manually, to reduce the burden on Zalenski. Councilor Dave Palmer, Ward 6, was absent. Mayor Glenn Elliott said that votes would be held by voice.
Wheeling Development Committee
The Development Committee met briefly and three proposals were discussed. The members of this committee are City Councilors, and their role is to approve or deny proposals, to then be heard by the full City Council at their next scheduled meeting.
Property owners on the 2300 block of River St in Center Wheeling have requested the street be abandoned. This would mean the road would no longer serve as a public street. Only one concern was heard –a technical request by American Electric Power for a pole on the current street to be moved or remain accessible after abandonment. The proposal was approved.
A proposal heard by the committee was a request from Macedonia Baptist Church to acquire the plots behind their property for a proposed terraced garden, green spaces, and seating areas. The proposal was approved.
The last proposal heard by the committee related to contracting work from Century 21 –a Wheeling realty company– to begin marketing the retail property to be available in the Market Street Parking Structure. According to City Manager Robert Herron, the 10,000 sq ft retail space could be subdivided; the retail space could be ready for viewing as early as four to six weeks from now. The proposal was approved.
Wheeling City Council
Mayor Elliott began the Mayor’s Report by congratulating City Clerk Jessica Zalenski on her first official council meeting. Elliott went on to praise former City Clerk Brenda ‘BJ’ Delbert, present in the audience, for the work she had done for the City Council.
Mayor Elliott briefly talked about the recent tour of the Wheeling Police Department Headquarters he and the City Council participated in, saying he was impressed with the “state of the art facility.” Elliott also commented on the Wheeling Fire Department Headquarters saying it was nice to see the foundations rising from the ground.
Mayor Elliott commended the West Virginia Legislature for SB 548, which he says gives municipalities more tools to protect against “bad faith actors” who sit on property in the city waiting for prices to rise.
Two Proclamations of the Mayor of Wheeling were announced. The week of April 1 to April 7 was proclaimed “Week of the Young Child,” to celebrate young kids and their caregivers. The month of April was proclaimed “National Child Abuse Prevention Month,” and Mayor Elliott implored community members to celebrate by making our community more kid friendly.
Four resolutions from the City Councils March 23 meeting were up for vote.
(1) a $21,000 contract with Mattucci Roofing of Wheeling to restore the roof of Fire Station #4 in South Wheeling was approved,
(2) a $243,472.26 contract with Dagostino Electronic Services of Pittsburgh, PA, for cable and wire installation for the Wheeling Fire Department Headquarters was approved,
(4) a proposal to contract A-1 Cleaning for daily cleaning services of the Wheeling Police Department Headquarters (not exceeding $46,200 annually) was tabled. A vote may be held during the April 18 City Council Meeting.
Pre-1940 Home-Repair Program
Councilor Jerry Sklavounakis, Ward 4, who helped lead the development of the Home Owner-Occupied Repair Assistance Program for Homes Built Prior to 1940 program spoke about it during Remarks from Council. Sklavounakis stressed this was not a first-come-first-serve program.
This program is designed to help fund the exterior repair of homes in Wheeling built before 1940. Applications can be submitted from April 5 until June 4, 2023, and will be awarded based on a scoresheet. Both the application and scoresheet will be available on the City of Wheeling’s website on April 5.
No person who has participated in a similar home repair program sponsored by the City of Wheeling is eligible. Awards are up to $5,000. Participants will be required to contribute 20% of their expected award through personal financing. Household income cannot exceed $120,000 to be eligible for the program.
City Manager’s Report
City Manager Robert Herron gave his report, first addressing the Wheeling Fire Department Headquarters scheduled to receive prefabricated walls on April 18. Beginning at 4:00 AM April 5, and continuing throughout the day, another continuous concrete pour will take place at the Market Street parking garage; related truck traffic will transit through Chapline Street.
City Manager Herron, during questions from City Council, said the Wheeling Suspension Bridge project would be completed by July. Herron said the Market St bridge –which has been closed for many months and is impacting businesses directly south of the bridge– project will be out to bid soon. Asked about the Clay School development study Herron said a revised agreement with the company would be signed within the next ten days.
The Wheeling City Council will for their next meeting on Tuesday, April 18, where they will likely discuss the A-1 Cleaning proposal tabled today. They are also likely to discuss five original propositions announced today, including amendments to Wheeling’s animal abuse ordinances, codification of the Wheeling Municipal Tree Board into the city charter, and a sewer improvement project for the North Park neighborhood.
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