Another Costly Plan

Editor, News-Register:

A recent Intelligencer & Wheling News Register headline read: “Wheeling Moving forward with $19 Million Dollar Streetscape Project.” It also read “plan will go forward without federal grant of $10 Million.”

You recognize, of course, those monies are your taxpayer dollars (Wheeling $2 million), state ($6.2 million) or federal grant ($10 million). I can touch on a number of reasons why I think this is wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.

Number One — The State of West Virginia DOH is having a tough time addressing infrastructure repairs and replacement(s) throughout the state. Bridges on main arteries are in poor condition and in need of major repairs or replacement. The taxpayers recently passed a levy to fund some of these repairs/replacement.

Number Two — However, funding for repairs to secondary roads, bridges, sidewalks, infrastructure, etc. is not covered under the levy. These repairs must be funded out of the DOH budget, but instead of using the aforementioned $6.2 million to help fund these repairs, the city leaders have applied political pressure and lobbied for these taxpayer dollars. I would be willing to bet that if there was a statewide survey taken about the funding to beautify downtown Wheeling at the expense of road and infrastructure repairs, the overwhelming response would be to use the $6.2 million to address repairs, paving, and replacement that is so sorely needed. Number Three — The city of Wheeling, if they have a surplus of $2 million, should budget it for parking garage repairs (Center Wheeling garage for sure), storm sewer replacement projects (undersized pipes which contribute to flooding of basements and streets), paving, replacement of old water mains, demolition of abandoned structures, and the list goes on.

I’m afraid our city council fails to recognize that the everyday city resident wants the neglected items mentioned above to be a priority, before any major beautification project that requires the expenditures of millions of taxpayer dollars.

It seems to me that it’s one expensive proposal after another, with no end in sight.

Hope springs eternal!

J. Jacobs

Wheeling

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