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Capito Announces Additional Earmarks for Northern Panhandle Projects

File Photo - Wheeling Heritage has plans to move the Artisan Center Shop on the second floor of its building at 14th and Main streets to a first-floor space facing Main Street, and federal funding could be on the way to help make that happen.

WHEELING — Proposed funding for upgrades at the Challenger Learning Center, the Wheeling Artisan Center and Wheeling City Market all are earmarked in the federal budget bill currently before Congress — courtesy of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

Capito, R-W.Va., has included in appropriation bills money for a number of projects taking place in the Northern Panhandle. The proposed projects and the preliminary funding numbers outlined are subject to final passage of the overall federal budget bill.

One Capito earmark would have the Wheeling Artisan Center receiving $1 million to renovate the retail areas in the building, and relocate the Artisan Center shop from the second floor to the first floor facing Main Street.

The River City Restaurant already on the first floor would be decreased in size, and a couple of additional store fronts would be added, also facing Main Street.

“The project we identify is reconfiguring space in the Artisan Center, which has had no updates or refiguration of space since 1996 — 25 years ago,” explained Jay Frey, interim executive director at Wheeling Heritage. “We are very grateful to Sen. Capito for including us in her earmark list, as well as to Sen. (Joe) Manchin for their bipartisan support of Wheeling Heritage.”

He credited former executive director Alex Weld with bringing the need for upgrades at the Artisan Center to Capito’s attention.

One of the larger local earmarks offered by Capito is $3 million for the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University to update its technology and support seasonal educational programming.

Messages for comment left at the Challenger Learning Center Friday were not immediately returned.

Capito has earmarked $150,000 for Wheeling Centre Market preservation, and $546,000 for the Elm Run flash flooding project in Wheeling through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

There is $10,269,000 for the city of Follansbee wastewater system improvements project; $22,470,000 for the city of Weirton water treatment capacity project; and $1 million for the Weirton Frontier Crossings railroad trails project.

With Manchin, D-W.Va, Capito also is seeking $1,001,000 to outfit the new Wheeling Police Station with needed technology; $500,000 for the city of Wheeling to rehabilitate the former Ohio Valley Medical Center campus; and $620,000 for Grow Ohio Valley’s Wheeling Food Hub project.

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