Bus Levy, Stop Signs on To-Do List for Council

WHEELING – City Council will vote Tuesday whether to grant the Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority’s request to put a levy on the ballot in May that would generate about $200,000 more per year for the bus service.

Last month, OVRTA announced it would be asking all the communities it serves to increase financial support for the bus service by 15 percent after the current expires June 30, 2015. Executive Director Tom Hvizdos, increased operating costs and anticipated federal funding cuts projects the authority will be operating in the red by 2017 at its current funding level, though ridership increased by about 5 percent over the last year.

The replacement levy – which would increase annual taxes by about $6 on a home assessed at $100,000 – would generate an estimated $1.23 million annually through mid-2018. Wheeling’s budget for the OVRTA excess levy for the current year is about $1.05 million.

Sixty percent approval would be needed for passage of the levy.

In other business, council will hear first reading of ordinances to remove three stop signs on Richland Avenue in Warwood, at its intersection with North Fourth and North Sixth streets and Osage Lane. That measure would come up for a vote Feb. 18.

The Wheeling Traffic Commission voted to recommend removing the signs after North 19th Street resident Tom Dailer complained there were too many on the street – a decision which drew criticism from Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge, who believes the signs are needed to keep children safe who walk through the neighborhood to and from school each day.

Council also will decide whether to provide $100,000 in revenue from Wheeling’s 2011 tax increment financing bond issue for improvements made to WesBanco Arena in 2012. That sum represents the city’s agreed-upon share of the $184,000 overall cost of the project completed by the Wheeling Nailers, which included video boards at both ends of the arena, the addition of televisions in the concourses and steel work.

Members also will vote on whether to spend $92,700 with A&H Equipment of Bridgeville, Pa., for a long-range, closed-circuit television pipe inspection crawler for the Water Pollution Control division.