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City-County Building in Wheeling Sees Increased Traffic

Photo by Joselyn King A drop box at the entrance to the City-County Building in Wheeling gives the public the option of dropping their water bill or city fees without fully entering the building.

Those needing to pay their water bill or take care of other business haven’t stopped coming in person to the City-County Building in Wheeling.

Technological options exist in most cases to municipal government errands, and in many cases people are using them, according to employees in the building. But traffic in the building is as much today as it was two or three years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic, they say.

“Yes, we’re in the busy season,” said County Assessor Tiffany Hoffman.

Residents have started returning their property tax reporting forms to the office, though the option exists to fill them out and return them online. Outside the office remains tape on the floor urging customers to stay 6 feet apart.

“There has not been a decrease in the number of people coming in,” Hoffman said. “I actually feel like we’re more busy, and maybe that was because there was nobody here last year.”

Most forms available in the assessor’s office can be accessed online, she said. Also, if someone is in need of a form all they have to do is call the office at 304-234-3626 and it will be mailed to them.

“But not that many of our requests are online,” she said. “I think Ohio County people just want to get out and like to do things in person.”

Circuit Clerk Brenda Miller termed traffic “back to normal” in her office, but she said that may change next month when attorneys will be able to e-file their cases and payment opportunities change.

Lawyers must pay to file a case, and presently there are no online options for payment by debit or credit cards, Miller said. The new system will permit online payment.

“We’ll still be here. We will still have to process everything on the computer,” she said. “And individuals still will be able to come in and file.

“We do ask if someone has not had their shot to be courteous to others and wear a mask.”

Downstairs in the City of Wheeling Water Department office, employees say they have many customers pay their bills in person, but this is decreasting as the public learns they can pay their bills for free online at www.municipalonlinepayments.com/wheelingwv/utilities.

Customers also can place their checks paying water bills or city fees in a drop box at the entrance to the City-County Building.

“They still come in because sometimes we’re the only people they see in a day,” one employee commented.

Toni Chieffalo, coordinator of elections in Ohio County, said there never is a large number of people coming to the office to register to vote or change their registration information. They are seeing a number of online registrations coming into the office, she said.

“Maybe people are just getting used to doing things online,” Chieffalo said. “That’s just the way things work these days.”


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