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Wheeling Officials to Discuss Budget, Ohio Valley Medical Center Acquisition

WHEELING — With an expected shortfall in fourth quarter revenues because of business closures during the coronavirus pandemic, Wheeling officials are discussing ways to balance the budget before the fiscal year comes to a close at the end of June.

According to the proposed budget revisions to be considered during city council’s finance committee meeting Tuesday morning, several line items for expenditures are likely to be adjusted to reflect an overall decrease in spending by $97,400.

The finance committee will meet beginning at 11:30 a.m. to discuss general fund budget revisions for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Members of Wheeling City Council will then hold their first regular meeting of the month at noon on Tuesday.

Among several other items on the agenda for the regular city council meeting, the proposed purchase and sales agreement for the former Ohio Valley Medical Center property is again up for consideration after being tabled during the last council meeting.

City council members have been exploring the option to acquire the sprawling hospital campus with the intention of marketing many of the buildings to potential private investors and possibly use one of the facilities for a new headquarters for its police and fire departments.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda are several original propositions related to purchases for the city’s water treatment plant, as well as an ordinance for engineering services by CT Consultants in the amount of $525,000 for the designs related to water main replacement work for the downtown area.

An ordinance also is being introduced authorizing the city manager to expend $38,430 with Wallace Pancher for engineering and design service for the Nailers Way Extension, which is an addendum proposal in the Wheeling Streetscape Project.

Although the City-County Building is now open to the public with social distancing guidelines in place, this meeting of Wheeling City Council — like other city government meetings scheduled during this first week of June — will not take place in council chambers.

City leaders have been conducting meetings online since the beginning of April when safety measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic prohibited public gatherings. While social distancing regulations continue to be relaxed, several meetings slated to take place this week will continue to be held virtually online for the sake of public safety.

Tuesday’s meeting will be live streamed on the city’s official Facebook site. Anyone wishing to participate during the public forum section at the end of the meeting may sign up to do so by calling 304-551-2151 any time up to 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting.

As social distancing restrictions continue to relax in the city, officials in the city of Wheeling began opening parks, playgrounds and baseball fields last week, and city offices in the City-County Building were opened under safety guidelines as well.

For the past two months with many downtown businesses closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city temporarily suspended its enforcement of parking regulations on city streets in the downtown business district. Officials have announced that parking enforcement resumes today.

The Wheeling Police Department and its civilian parking enforcement officers will begin to issue citations on all parking related violations, police reminded the public over the weekend.

Citations will be issued for parking violations at all expired meters, in red commercial loading zones, in yellow “no parking” lines, in handicapped parking spots or in any zones where “no parking” signs are posted during specific times, such as periods designated for street sweeping.

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