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Schenk Bridge Should Be Priority

March 18, 2013
The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

As the federal government has steadily reduced the amount of Community Development Block Grant money sent to Wheeling, city officials have had to make tough decisions.

Some programs funded with CDBG money for many years have lost most of their money from the source.

Now, another major change has to be made. City officials had planned to spend $150,000 in CDBG money for badly needed sidewalk and curb repairs on Wheeling Island and in Center Wheeling. But that project will have to be put on hold.

A few weeks ago, a major support beam in the city-owned Schenk Street Bridge failed. Closure of the span means motorists have to take a long detour to travel between the city's Fulton and Peninsula areas.

City Manager Robert Herron has proposed using the $150,000 previously earmarked for sidewalk and curb work, along with about $69,000 from other accounts, to repair the bridge.

Wheeling City Council members are right to agree to Herron's proposal, even if it means postponing other projects. After holding the required hearing on the matter April 2, council should vote to redirect the CDBG money so the bridge repair can proceed.

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