Wheeling City Council Mulls $1.16M CDBG Spending Plan

City Manager Robert Herron has drafted a proposal for spending $1.16 million in Community Development Block Grant funds that Wheeling is receiving this year from the federal government.

He presented the proposed CDBG budget to Wheeling City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday night. The fiscal 2018 action plan calls for an allocation of approximately $1 million for administration, economic development and city-wide projects. In addition, nearly $110,000 is earmarked for city public services and outside agencies.

In the administrative category, Herron suggested spending $232,588 for “personal services,” which he explained would cover costs for staff work related to CDBG funds in the city’s community and economic development department.

The budget calls for using $200,000 as a Section 108 loan payment for the Lowe’s store project in Center Wheeling, he said. The city continues to repay a loan received through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for work associated with construction of the Lowe’s store several years ago.

Herron proposed allocating a total of $620,853 for city-wide projects, including the purchase of a new fire truck at a cost of $425,000; fencing at Pulaski Playground, $35,000; work at Fulton Playground, $35,000, and paving, $125,853.

The city manager said the new fire truck is to be placed at the fire department’s main headquarters in Center Wheeling. An old fire truck is to be moved from the main headquarters to the Wheeling Island station; another old fire truck is to be moved from Wheeling Island to the Warwood station.

The proposed CDBG budget calls for allocating $63,000 to city public service agencies, with $33,000 going to the Nelson Jordan Center; $15,000 for East Wheeling pool operations; $10,000 for the police department and $5,000 for the Human Rights Commission.

Outside public service agencies are in line to get $46,500 in CDBG funds. Proposed allocations are as follows: Wheeling Health Right, $22,500; Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, $8,500; Family Service-Upper Ohio Valley, $7,000; Catholic Charities, $5,000, and Seeing Hand Association, $3,500.

Herron said a hearing notice for the CDBG budget will be published and posted online on May 31. A 30-day public display of the fiscal 2018 action plan will begin June 1 and end July 2.

Council members are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the CDBG funding proposal on June 19. Herron said council is expected to adopt the action plan by resolution on July 3.

Meanwhile, at a finance committee session preceding the council meeting, Herron said the city’s current general revenue is up and expenditures are below estimates. He said $4.4 million in revenue was collected in April.

However, he cautioned that traditionally June is the slowest month of the year for receiving revenue. “We’re lucky to get over $1 million (in revenue) in June,” he said.