Parade, Parking Requirements On Wheeling Council’s Agenda

Wheeling City Council will decide this week whether to forbid residents from parking in their front yards and whether its employees must continue to live in the city or elsewhere in Ohio County.

Another ordinance amendment up for a vote would require those seeking to hold public assemblies on city sidewalks or streets to obtain a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance, a tenfold increase from the current law’s requirement of $100,000 in coverage. It also would require those applying for permits to hold parades and assemblies to do so at least 10 days prior to the planned event.

Council will meet at noon Wednesday in City Manager Robert Herron’s conference room on the third floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St. The meeting is a day later than usual due to Tuesday’s general election.

The measures to prohibit front yard parking and relax the city’s residency requirement for employees were approved by council’s Rules Committee, the former by a unanimous vote and the latter in a 2-1 decision with Councilman Robert “Herk” Henry voting against. He has said he doesn’t want to see city employees’ tax dollars going to other counties, but the city Human Resources Department has complained of difficulty in finding qualified applicants for some positions under the current rule.

The amended residency requirement would allow Herron to hire employees from an area extending north to Bruin Drive between Follansbee and Wellsburg, and south to include Benwood, McMechen, Glen Dale and Moundsville.

Under current law, they must live either in Ohio County or the small portion of Wheeling that lies in Marshall County.

The insurance and 10-day notice requirements for assemblies would be in effect for events that “preclude or interfere with the ordinary use of such street, sidewalk or public way.” As with the current law governing such events, funeral processions would not be subject to those requirements.

In other business, council will vote on whether to spend about $20,000 on $50 gift cards from Kroger and Riesbeck’s for Wheeling’s approximately 400 employees as the holiday season approaches – something the city has done the past several years.

Further items up for a vote Wednesday include acceptance of $15,233 in state Governor’s Community Participation Grant money for the purpose of marketing the city; and a $53,408 payment to Wayne Crouse Inc. for work on the ongoing wastewater treatment plant project.