WHEELING - Moundsville residents could take the bus to the grocery store, doctor's office or city building as soon as July if they approve an Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority levy Nov. 6.
"This is much more extensive than what we did with the trial service," said OVRTA's president, Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron, during the authority's Wednesday meeting. "This is full bus service."
In 2010, 57 percent of Moundsville voters approved an excess levy to provide bus service to the city, but a 60 percent vote is required to pass the excess levy. OVRTA Executive Director Tom Hvizdos said Moundsville last had regular bus service in the 1970s.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director Tom Hvizdos speaks during a Wednesday meeting.
"Right now, there has not been any organized opposition, so we feel like we have a good shot to get it passed," he said.
For residential properties, the levy would cost 8.64 cents per $100 of valuation. For a home valued at $100,000, the levy would raise the owner's taxes by $51.84 annually, or $4.32 per month.
For commercial properties, the levy would be 17.28 cents per $100 of value. For a commercial structure valued at $500,000, the levy would raise the owner's taxes by $518.40 per year, or $43.20 per month. For a $1 million property, the increase would be $1,036 per year, or $86.40 per month.
"With the cost of gasoline, we feel we offer a very viable alternative mode of transportation," he said, noting a monthly bus pass costs $42 for an adult or $21 for a senior citizen or disabled person.
Hvizdos said because the three-year levy would not take effect until July 1, that is most likely the earliest that service would begin. The Moundsville run would consist of its own bus, meaning it would not directly connect to the rest of the OVRTA system. However, Hvizdos said riders could ride the Moundsville bus to the Benwood Kroger to catch a second bus, which they could take to Wheeling and beyond.
Because Glen Dale will not be part of the OVRTA system, the bus would only drive through Glen Dale on the way between Mounds-ville and McMechen, stopping only at Reynolds Memorial Hospital.
The proposed Mounds-ville bus would run at approximately 90-minute intervals from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, starting with the following stops and times:
Also on the Nov. 6 ballot is the renewal OVRTA levy for Benwood. The tax levels are the same as the proposed rates for Moundsville.
"I support it 100 percent," said Benwood Mayor Ed Kuca who is an authority board member.