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Commissioners Give Money to Oglebay Institute, Town of West Liberty

WHEELING — Ohio County commissioners will provide $10,000 to Oglebay Institute for its project to renovate the Stifel Mansion, and another $30,000 to the town of West Liberty to pay off its police cruiser.

The commissioners met by phone Tuesday night, and County Administrator Greg Stewart informed them of a request from West Liberty officials to assist with the police department.

Commissioner Don Nickerson said West Liberty needed about $25,000 to $30,000 to pay off its police cruiser.

“Apparently, COVID has wreaked some havoc on their police department, and that is the reason for the request,” he said.

Delays with sending a new officer to a closed police academy has forced the community to spend money for which officials had not budgeted, and the department also had the need to purchase a Chevrolet Tahoe in recent months, according to Nickerson.

“I think they are feeling the pinch,” he said.

Commissioners unanimously approved funding the purchase.

Oglebay Institute also sent a request to the commissioners, asking if they could contribute as much as $40,000 toward the project to replace the roof on the Stifel mansion, which is a $1.6 million effort, according to Nickerson. Nickerson acknowledged he also is a non-paid member of the Oglebay Institute board of directors.

Nickerson told commissioners Oglebay Institute so far has raised about $860,000 for the restoration project.

In 2016, the commission contributed an initial $5,000 for the work.

“They have a capital campaign going on,” he said. “They are asking if the county will like to continue the effort. It is a $40,000 request, but obviously the institute would take what the county sees fit to give.”

Oglebay Institute has received grant funding for the project, and part of the requirements for the grant is that it begin to spend money to begin work, according to Nickerson. The project is to continue over the next three years, and additional contributions could be made.

Nickerson termed the Stifel Mansion a “historically significant structure in the county.”

The commissioners voted to give Oglebay Mansion $10,000 in hotel-motel tax revenue funds for the work.

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