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Wheeling sales tax funds more than $1M in paving

WHEELING, W.Va. — That extra penny or two consumers have been paying for their morning coffee since Wheeling enacted its sales tax in 2013 could soon result in some smoother road surfaces across the Friendly City.

City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a pair of contracts totaling more than $800,000 with Lash Paving of Bridgeport for street resurfacing throughout the city, including $407,325 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds and $426,462 in sales tax revenue.

City Manager Robert Herron said a second paving contract of about $200,000 will be will be bid out in the fall, which would bring the total amount spent on paving for the year to more than $1 million.

Herron said that’s more money than the city has ever been able to spend to improve roads in a single year in the 13 years he’s been city manager. “I think the citizens are really going to start seeing the results of the sales tax,” he said.

Proceeds from Wheeling’s sales tax are set aside for four main purposes: infrastructure projects, upgrades to WesBanco Arena, funding police and fire pensions and replacing revenue lost when council lowered business and occupation taxes.

Streets to be paved using CDBG funds – which can only be used in low- to moderate-income areas or to improve accessibility at public facilities – include South York Street from Zane Street to Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, Virginia Street from South Front Street to South Penn Street, a portion of Vine Street, Eoff Street between 45th and 48th streets, Wetzel Street between 37th and 40th streets and Fulton Street from Savan Rock to Merwin Alley.

The parking lot at the Miracle Field of the Ohio Valley, located at the J.B. Chambers Youth Sports Complex in Elm Grove, also will be paved, making it safer for the children who use the facility, many of whom use wheelchairs or walkers.

The city will use sales tax funds to pave sections of Lynwood, Pleasant, Gaewood, Thrush and Anderson avenues; Mount Wood and Carmel roads; Alpine Court; Glen Hollin, Lincoln and Speidel drives; Grimm and Robin Bird lanes; and near Subway on National Road.

Vice Mayor Eugene Fahey said council made it clear from the beginning that sales tax revenue would go back to residents in the form of infrastructure improvements.

“It gives me great pride to say that we’re doing exactly what we said we would do,” Fahey said.

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