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City of Wheeling Will Divvy Up $1.1M in Community Development Block Grant Funding

Photo by Alan Olson Pictured from left is Wheeling City Councilman Jerry Sklavounakis, City Manager Robert Herron, Mayor Glenn Elliott and Vice-Mayor Chad Thalman.

WHEELING — Federal funding through the Community Development Block Grant program for 2021 is being distributed to various nonprofit organizations in the city of Wheeling.

On Sept. 7, members of Wheeling City Council are expected to approve an ordinance authorizing a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the amount of $1,186,308 for the CDBG funding for 2021.

Earlier this year, the city held a public hearing on its Annual Action Plan, which outlined proposed CDBG distributions for the year. The plan was approved by council in May.

Designed to help improve economic, social and physical environments of eligible cities and counties, CDBG funds aim to enhance the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents, which in turn, is intended to strengthen the entire community.

Portions of the city’s CDBG overall allocation for the year were used to fund a couple of major projects.

The city-wide projects included $150,000 for a new splash pad and improvements to the Grandview Pool, $121,000 as the local match for the brownfield cleanup at the site of the proposed Robrecht Riverfront Park, about $272,205 for the second phase of a major storm sewer separation project in South Wheeling, and $250,000 for a portion of the lease for the new Wheeling Fire Department Ladder Truck 1.

Administrative costs for the CDBG funds tally around $234,000. The remainder of the annual funding allocation to the city is distributed to local service organizations.

“For many years, the city has contributed to our local non-profits,” Wheeling Vice Mayor Chad Thalman said. “We feel this is particularly important during this time due to the challenges they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are blessed to have so many of these organizations in our city that provide support and assistance to some of our residents.”

Several ordinances were introduced earlier this month before city council for CDBG funding distributions to several local non-profit and public service agencies. Those entities, the maximum dollar amount being distributed to them and the intended uses for the funds included: YMCA, up to $4,500 for membership and camp fees; Information Helpline, up to $5,000 for rent and utility assistance;

Family Services of the Upper Ohio Valley, up to $5,000 for fuel, materials and supplies; The Seeing Hand Association, up to $5,000 for workshop supplies and activities; Wheeling Human Rights Commission, up to $5,000 for administrative and operating expenses; The Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless, up to $8,500 for utility costs at the organization’s transitional living facility; Catholic Charities, up to $10,000 to provide meals to low income and homeless people; The Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling, up to $10,000 for food and supplies; East Wheeling Pool Operation, up to $15,000 to cover salaries for pool attendants and lifeguards; Wheeling Health Right, up to $25,000 for pharmaceuticals; and Nelson Jordan Center, up to $33,000 for administration and supplies.

In an ordinance authorizing a separate grant agreement between the city of Wheeling and HUD, funding in the amount of $305,207 is provided for the 2021 HOME Investment Partnership program.

A corresponding ordinance — for funds up to the same dollar amount as the HOME program allocation — is expected to be approved to allow the Northern Panhandle Home Consortium First Time Homebuyer Program to assist low- to moderate-income individuals, families or households.

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