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Wheeling Officials Outline Outdoor Dining Incentive Program

The city of Wheeling’s Outdoor Dining Program is offering financial assistance to privately-owned establishments within the city limits that provide outdoor dining space in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. City council passed legislation at their Oct. 5 meeting for the development of the Outdoor Dining Program.

Economic and Community Development Director Nancy Prager explained the city of Wheeling will reimburse 90% of eligible expenditures up to $20,000.

“Eligible expenditures include expenses related solely to the establishment’s outdoor space. Expenditures must have occurred after March 15, 2020 in order to be eligible. Costs must also be directly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said, noting expenditures include awnings, construction materials, lighting, signage and labor costs. Fees for architects, engineers or other design consultants are also eligible.

This opportunity is not limited to only the shutdown period at the height of the pandemic. Applications will be accepted by the city as long as funding is available.

Prager encouraged potential applicants to contact the city’s Economic and Community Development Department at 304-234-3701 to review the project prior to turning in an application.

The following items must be submitted with the application: photographs of existing business; plans and/or elevations of completed improvements or work to be completed; list and/or description of materials used; detailed cost estimates/bids received for completed improvements; IRS W-9 form; and if the applicant is property owner, proof of property ownership. If the applicant is not the property owner, an owner consent form must be included.

The city of Wheeling reserves the right to request further information from the applicant or visit the applicant’s property in an effort to evaluate the work completed. Guidelines and applications can be found on the city’s website at www.wheelingwv.gov/outdoordining.

Vice Mayor Chad Thalman explained one of the expenditures permitted in the American Rescue Plan includes expanding, enhancing or creating outdoor dining options within the city.

“This is an opportunity to add more outdoor dining choices for our residents and to help restaurants that are rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Thalman said. “We are excited to move forward with the program and potentially help to create, expand and enhance the many outdoor dining options available in Wheeling.”

Awards under the Outdoor Dining Program will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the application and all necessary documentation is received by the city, each submission will be reviewed for compliance. Once the application is found to be compliant, a resolution will be presented to Wheeling City Council for reimbursement.

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