First phase of Inwood Bypass nears completion
(Herald-Mail Media 12/17) All three roundabouts in phase one of the Inwood (W.Va.) Bypass are open to traffic, but completion of the road construction project is not expected to be finished until next year, when the second phase of work is projected to begin. While phase one is almost finished, the contractor still has to complete the widening of Middleway Pike, and that work should be finished by “late spring,” said Ken Clohan, traffic engineer for West Virginia Division of Highways District 5. W.Va. 51 east of U.S. 11 is known as Middleway Pike. The contract for the first phase of work was awarded in July 2016, to St. Albans, W.Va.-based Triton Construction Inc., which bid $12.39 million for the ongoing construction project.
Huntington Bank dedicates $2 million for economic startups in WV
(The Morgantown News 12/17) West Virginia University's efforts to transform the state's economy got a major boost with the donation of $2 million by longtime partner Huntington Bank Tuesday. Chad Prather, regional president of Huntington Bank in West Virginia, presented the check to WVU President Gordon Gee and business school dean Javier Reyes at a reception at the Erickson Alumni Center. Specifically, the money was donated to the university's Economic Startup Engine which was announced in October. Its mission is to help new businesses hone their ideas further and develop mentor relationships and partner with existing businesses as part of the West Virginia Forward Initiative.
Legislative committee to focus on technology, broadband
(The Register-Herald 12/18) The new Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, said Tuesday he will propose broadening the scope of the existing House of Delegates Committee on Roads and Transportation into a new Technology and Infrastructure Committee. Hanshaw said he would propose the change on the first day of the next legislative session, Jan. 9, according to a news release.
Engineers discuss erosion affecting Mountaineer Middle hillside
(The Dominion Post 12/18) Is Mountaineer Middle School standing on shaky ground? Not exactly, representatives from the Alpha Associates civil engineering firm told the Monongalia County school board Tuesday. However, a hillside that takes in a portion of the school’s Price Street campus is starting to give way. And a retaining wall on the grounds is starting to buckle from the motion, Alpha’s president Rick Colebank told the board during its regular meeting. Cracks are also appearing on the pavement at the bus loop turnaround in the parking lot, he said.
Friends of Track and Field provide funds for new track facility
(The Dominion Post 12/18) A check for $48,245 was presented to the Mylan Park Foundation by Friends of Track and Field during Wednesday’s Monongalia County Commission meeting. As previously reported, the money will be added to $600,000 — which came by way of matching $300,000 contributions from the county commission and WVU Athletics — to purchase lights for Mylan Park’s new track and field complex. Friends of Track and Field is a fund through Your Community Foundation It was founded by Mike Mosser, Carl Hatfield and former WVU track and cross-country coach Martin Pushkin.
Pendleton County Schools awarded multi-million dollar grant
(WHSV3 12/18) The Pendleton County School system was recently awarded a multi-million dollar need grant by the West Virginia School Building Authority. According to school officials, the $8.3 million grant will be used to replace roofs and HVAC systems at Pendleton County High School and North Fork Elementary. The county has been working for some time to replace decades-old heating systems and install air conditioning for the first time.
Wheeling City Council approves $10 million in sewer system work
(The Intelligencer 12/19) City Council finalized plans for improving Wheeling’s sewer systems and said farewell to Councilman Brian Wilson during its final meeting of the year Tuesday. At the meeting, council approved an ordinance authorizing spending $10 million on improvements to sewer lines across Wheeling neighborhoods. The project also will improve wastewater treatment in the city and a pump lift station in Warwood, City Manager Robert Herron said.
State funds Widmyer roof replacement
(The Morgan Messenger 12/19) The West Virginia School Board Authority (SBA) awarded Morgan County Schools $832,067 in funding for the nearly $1 million Widmyer Elementary roof replacement Needs project. Widmyer Elementary in Berkeley Springs serves 420 students in grades pre-K through second grade. Morgan County’s school board increased their local match for the Widmyer roof replacement project submission from $132,628 (10%) to $150,000 (15%) at their November 13 meeting. The new project cost is $982,607, down from the original cost estimate of $1,326,277.
Construction continues on parking garage near J.W. Ruby Hospital
(The Dominion Post 12/20) Joe Racz is a project manager with Carl Williams Construction Co., the Pittsburgh firm that is putting up the new structure on the Willowdale Road entrance of J.W. Ruby Hospital. The six-story, 810-space parking garage is expected to be completed in August. Racz said. Racz said workers are “pushing through,” even with north-central West Virginia’s notoriously unpredictable weather. A covered pedestrian bridge crossing over Willowdale to Milan Puskar Stadium will also be a feature of the garage.
MBCPR projects progressing around the county
(The Journal 12/20) Several projects around the county are picking up steam, according to the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board at its monthly meeting Tuesday. The new shelter at Goldie Gibbons Park in Bedington is being erected now, and the parking area and pavilion there are in the process of being stripped and shaled. “It’s nice to see that project off the ground,” MBCPR executive director Steve Catlett said while updating the board on the project’s progress Tuesday. The next step, Catlett said, is to install curbs by spring. The biggest step of the project remains the parking lot.
Study shows Atlantic Coast Pipeline opposition could negatively affect WV economy
(West Virginia Press 12/20) Opposition to natural gas pipeline projects has the potential to negatively impact West Virginia’s economy, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute. If coordinated efforts to slow or block pipeline projects like Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline are ultimately successful, they could prevent at least $91.9 billion in domestic economic activity and could eliminate nearly 730,000 job opportunities throughout the country. In addition, federal, state and local governments could miss out on more than $20 billion in tax revenue, according to the study.
Capitals plan to renovate Martinsburg ice rinks as part of youth initiative
(West Virginia MetroNews 12/20) A project to renovate a pair of outdoor inline hockey rinks in Martinsburg is getting spearheaded by the defending Stanley Cup champions. An initiative of the NHL’s Washington Capitals is to build at least 20 ice rinks in the Washington, D.C.-area, with the goal of reaching one million youth. Peter Robinson, director of community relations with the Capitals, said this week the project will be an investment worth between $80,000 and $100,000.
Fairmont, WV, Community Development Partnership, Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority receive $831,000 in grants through MVB Bank partnership
(The Exponent Telegram 12/20) Thanks to a $831,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, the Fairmont Community Development Partnership and the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority soon will be able to begin their own housing projects. The grant, which came through the bank’s Affordable Housing Program thanks to a partnership with MVB Bank, will give both the partnership and the authority the ability to begin work on separate projects. Fairmont Community Development Partnership Director Andrea Fleming said her organization will receive just over $734,000 of the grant, which will help construct affordable family homes in the Jackson addition.
Friends of Cheat brings trail update to commission
(The Preston County News & Journal 12/21) Preston County commissioners were pleased to hear from Friends of the Cheat at a recent meeting about a $3 million grant to develop the Cheat River Rail Trail. Executive Director Amanda Pitzer attended the meeting to bring commissioners up to date on the project and what it would mean for the county. “We are super excited,” Pitzer said. “Nothing is changing yet. This takes a little bit of time to do. I am hoping we can break ground in 2019, but a safe answer is we will certainly break ground in 2020 on the trail.”
West Virginia Ups Funding For HVAC, Capital Improvements at Schools
(The News 12/21) The School Building Authority of West Virginia voted at its Dec. 10 meeting to fund nearly $74.5 million worth of capital improvements to schools across the state, including construction and renovation projects for school systems in 19 counties. Seven of the awards include funding specifically for HVAC-related projects.
Natural gas company's expansion plans, extension for Rockwool plant approved
(Herald-Mail Media 12/21) Two extensions of natural gas service in the Eastern Panhandle — including one to the Rockwool plant under construction in Jefferson County — have been deemed “reasonable and in the public interest” by the West Virginia Public Service Commission. The pipeline extensions are part of a modified Infrastructure Replacement and Expansion Plan for Mountaineer Gas Co. that the PSC said it signed on Friday.
Kanawha OKs ending 1st semester before winter break; spending $7.9M on Ben Franklin
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 12/21) The Kanawha County Board of Education approved Thursday returning to a calendar next school year that will end students’ first semester before winter break. Students’ first day will be Aug. 12 and their last will be May 26, barring make-up days possibly delaying the end of the school year. The 2019-20 school year calendar will also turn five student early-out days, which feature faculty senate meetings after students leave, into full “professional learning” days for teachers that students have off completely. Tracy White, the newest board member, was alone among the five board members in voting against the chosen calendar. The calendar governs all Kanawha public schools except the two “year-round” schools, which are Piedmont and Mary C. Snow West Side elementaries — those calendars weren’t taken up Thursday.
Stream gauge installed on bridge
(The Register-Herald 12/21) The first of several planned stream gauges around the state was installed Thursday on a Spa City bridge that spans Howards Creek, the waterway responsible for a large share of the misery that accompanied the flood of 2016. Watching a team from the USGS (United States Geological Survey) working to install the new equipment in the rain, White Sulphur Mayor Bruce Bowling reflected on that terrible flood that took 16 Greenbrier County lives. As have others, he said if the violent flash flood had occurred at night instead of in the afternoon, the death toll in his town would have been 100 instead of seven.
Stepping Stones breaks ground on tiny home village, greenhouse
(The Herald-Dispatch 12/21) The Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing-West Virginia and UniCare Health Plan of West Virginia partnered with Stepping Stones to break ground Thursday on a tiny home village for transition-aged youth aging out of West Virginia's foster care system or at risk of homelessness. When complete, the village will provide residents safe housing, access to recreation, art and community activities, career education, mentor opportunities, life skills coaching, and technical training and support.
Courthouse roof project moving forward
(The Inter-Mountain 12/22) The second phase of a project to replace the roof of the Randolph County Courthouse will get underway in early 2019. Randolph County Commissioners unanimously approved signing a resolution for a West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Grant, which they have already been awarded and will net them $100,000 for the second and final phase of the roof project.
Land trust gets $400K grant from Gov. Justice to purchase, restore 900 acres in Tucker County
(The Dominion Post 12/23) West Virginia Land Trust recently received a $400,000 grant from Gov. Jim Justice’s office. The West Virginia Land Trust $400,000 grant will go toward the purchase and restoration of about 900 acres in Tucker County, including recreational trails that have become a destination for hiking and mountain biking.
Johnson Elementary in Bridgeport, WV, recognized as the Public Project of the Year
(WVNews 12/24) If you see Principal Vicki Huffman walking the halls of Johnson Elementary these days, you might notice a little more bounce in her step. She isn’t the only one, as the veteran educator, her staff and 600 plus students are finishing their first semester at their new $19 million school. Huffman, who actually did her student teaching at the original Johnson Elementary School back in 1983-84 and has been associated with the school for much of her career, says the new building has provided a spark that has lifted school spirit even higher than before.
County helps with Homestead repairs
(The Inter-Mountain 12/24) On the heels of electrical upgrades being completed at Homestead School, the non-profit organization who purchased the structure received more than $10,000 to assist in covering the costs. The Tygart Valley Homestead Association, which took ownership of the former school in January and are working on repairs to turn it into a community center, received $11,200, to be taken from the county’s hotel/motel tax budget line, from the Randolph County Commission.
Work on renovating Pocahontas Exhibition Mine to begin next year
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 12/24) Work on renovating the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine should start early next year with the goal of finishing in time for a May reopening. Rick Chitwood, the project manager with Thompson & Litton, a Tazewell engineering firm, said the company is finalizing the improvement designs and work should soon go out to bid. A $1.5 million grant, as part of the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Pilot Program, was awarded for the work in May, when the announcement was made that the exhibition mine would be closed for the 2018 season.
Plans continue on bringing kayaking to Bluestone River
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 12/24) Talks with property owners and plans for surveying have continued on a project that would bring new opportunities for kayaking, hiking, bicycling and horseback riding to Mercer County’s tourism industry. “During the last couple of weeks, I’ve started visiting with landowners on what is Phase I of the project,” he said. “That includes the trail along Camp Creek at right about Route 19 and down to the Bluestone River. It’s about a 3-mile stretch and it has the old railroad line on the shore of the Camp Creek side all the way down to the Bluestone that is part of our Phase 1.”The second part of Phase 1 is to use a trail to connect Brush Creek to the Bluestone River, he said. Most of that trail is completed already from the Brush Creek Falls to the river.
Jim Ross: Bridge designers take cues from basket handles
(The Herald-Dispatch 12/24) For three decades and going on four, Huntington's East End bridge over the Ohio River was the one that other communities wanted. It was the first of several bridges on the river of the cable stay design. But the cable stay bridge has competition now for the most aesthetically appealing bridge design for bridges of its size. The newcomer is a type of bridge known as a basket handle, and one is going up in West Virginia.
Milton receives USDA loan, grant for sanitary upgrades
(The Herald-Dispatch 12/25) The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $1.2 billion to help rebuild and improve rural water infrastructure in 46 states, including two projects in West Virginia. In Cabell County, the city of Milton will receive $5.8 million in loan funds and $2.1 million in grant funds, according to a news release from the agency. In Randolph County, the Midland Public Service District will receive a $600,000 loan and a $520,000 grant to make public water service available to 132 households in areas serviced by undependable water wells.
Dominion Energy eyes Tazewell: Studies still underway to determine if Tazewell is suitable for $2B facility
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 12/25) As one part of the preliminary work needed to determine if Tazewell County is suitable for a $2 billion Dominion Energy pump storage facility project ends, another one will soon get under way. The project would take 10 years to complete, creating more than 2,000 jobs during the construction phase with about 50 permanent jobs once it is complete. It would also generate about $12 million a year in tax revenue, which would be shared by other jurisdictions in an agreement approved by the General Assembly.
Tucker Community Foundation awards over $90,000 to nonprofits
(The Preston County News & Journal 12/25) A total of 44 nonprofit organizations were recently awarded more than $90,000 from the Tucker Community Foundation through its annual Fall Grant Program. The grants can support specific projects or general operations for programs that make a positive impact in their communities. This year, the Foundation received over 100 applications, a record number of applications in making this year’s grant very competitive.
Second phase of Arthurdale project completed
(The Preston County News & Journal 12/25) In a historic district, it is not always easy to get preservation work done because of the rules and regulations that need to be followed. Arthurdale did just that and finished phase two of a three-part project on Center Hall in the past couple of months.
WV High Technology Foundation in Fairmont, WV, reflects on beating bankruptcy, starting projects in 2018
(WVNews 12/26) After beating bankruptcy earlier this year, the High Technology Foundation has begun work on several projects, as well as fostered an ever-increasing occupancy rate throughout 2018. Since the bankruptcy has been dismissed, Estep said that the foundation has spent the last 10 months working on a variety of projects, mainly Phase III of development at the I-79 High Technology Park.
Harrison County, WV, Commission to discuss White Oaks development Friday
(The Exponent Telegram 12/26) The Harrison County Commission will hold a special meeting Friday to discuss the continued development of White Oaks, among other topics. The principal topic of Friday’s meeting is the approval of amendments made to the ongoing TIF Project Plan, which would continue the development of the White Oaks business and industrial park.
Highway project nears completion
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 12/27) Months of repaving work along Mercer County’s section of Interstate 77 is almost complete, opening up all four of its lanes for traffic, officials with the West Virginia Department of Transportation announced the day after Christmas. “Travelers along I-77 between Bluefield and Princeton will be pleased to hear that the I-77 rehabilitation project between Bluefield and Princeton is nearly complete and all four lanes are open to traffic,” transportation officials said in a statement issued Wednesday.
Hinton, Fayetteville among most significant 2018 water projects
(The Register-Herald 12/27) During the 2018 construction season, West Virginia American Water completed $67 million in water and wastewater system improvements. The company spent $23.2 million of its 2018 capital investments replacing 146,000 feet (more than 27 miles) of aging water mains through its Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) and another $27.4 million to replace aging fire hydrants, water service lines and water meters, the release said. (Contractor: West Virginia Paving, Inc.)
Proposed aquatic center attracts donors
(The Register-Herald 12/28) Just seven months after plans were publicly rolled out in a presentation in downtown Lewisburg, a proposed aquatic facility in eastern Greenbrier County has attracted donations totaling more than a third of its anticipated $6 million start-up cost. Figures provided by TAG Galyean, the driving force behind the proposed Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center (GVAC), show that 155 donors have committed a total of $2,129,418 toward the project.
PSC approves pipeline plan to include extension from Martinsburg to Charles Town
(MetroNews 12/28) The West Virginia Public Service Commission approved a $119.8 million plan allowing Mountaineer Gas Company to complete infrastructure replacements and upgrades through 2023. Included in that plan is $16.5 million to expand and enhance service through Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson Counties. This will allow for future expansion of an existing pipeline between Martinsburg and Charles Town.
Construction employment increases in 265 metros
(Supply House Times 12/28) Construction employment grew in 265, or 74%, out of 358 metro areas between November 2017 and November 2018, declined in 45 and was unchanged in 48, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. The largest percentage gain occurred in Weirton-Steubenville, West Virginia-Ohio (26%, 500 jobs), followed by New Bedford, Massachusetts (22%, 600 jobs) and Lewiston, Idaho-Washington (21%, 300 jobs).
Short Creek Bridge Project Continues Near Wheeling
(The Intelligencer 12/29) Crews with Ohio-West Virginia Excavating Co. of Shadyside continue working on the W.Va. 2/Short Creek bridge replacement project. According to the West Virginia Division of Highways, the work is scheduled to continue through mid-August and the southbound lanes of W.Va. 2 will be closed in the vicinity of the bridge as part of the project.
Construction continues on WV 10
(The Herald-Dispatch 12/30) Construction continues on a 2-mile stretch of W.Va. 10 in Huntington, which is being repaired to make it safer for motorists. Upgrades are taking place between the entrance to Huntington High School at Highlander Way and Cedar Crest Drive. The project entails relocating splices of the road in order to straighten the winding lanes, adding a center turning lane and widening the shoulders to make it safer.
Airport development tops 2019 priorities for Harrison, WV, commissioners
(The Exponent Telegram 12/30) Harrison County commissioners said development around the North Central West Virginia Airport will be a top priority in 2019. Commissioners are banking on the airport as a new hub for manufacturing and industrial development in the area. According to Commission President Ron Watson, the commission will look at additional properties near the airport in the next year for potential purchase.
North Central, WV, to end 2018 with a stable economy, positive forecast for 2019 and beyond
(WVNews 12/30) North Central West Virginia will end 2018 with a stable, strong economy, and all signs point to continued financial prosperity over the next several years. In Harrison County, many of these jobs can be attributed to the rebounding natural gas production and new natural gas pipeline infrastructure under construction, Deskins said. “That’s actually something that’s creating benefits in other counties in the state as well, not just the north central region,” he said. “But definitely the construction projects that have been going on have definitely helped employment and a whole host of economic measures here in North Central. There is lots of stuff going on with the pipeline construction. That’s in Harrison County and it’s affecting other parts of our region, as well.”
Eastern Panhandle leaders call for upgrades to W.Va. 9
(Herald-Mail Media 12/30) Local government leaders in the Eastern Panhandle continue to push state transportation leaders to make improvements to W.Va. 9 between Martinsburg and Berkeley Springs, W.Va., citing increasing congestion and safety concerns.
West Virginia residents share their thoughts on state's road projects
(The Exponent Telegram 12/30) In 2017, West Virginians voted in favor for letting the state sell up to $1.6 billion in road bonds for the financing of road construction projects, and a year later, residents are voicing their opinions on the matter. Charles Minor of Salem said he’s seen varying work done on the roads he travels frequently since last year. “I’ve seen them work on I-77 and I-79,” he said. “I travel I-77 to Charleston every week. They’ve repaved, put a safety fence up and placed a bridge over the median.”
Turnpike toll increase delayed until Jan. 15
(WVMetroNews 12/31) Gov. Justice put out a statement Monday afternoon calling on the Parkways Authority to delay the toll increase. The increased tolls are paying for bonds sold to finance highway construction projects in 10 southern West Virginia counties. The first round of those bonds, $166 million, were sold to investors in mid-August. Barr said at the time, construction is already underway to add additional turning lanes to state Route 10 in Logan, Wyoming and Mercer counties, in which $80 million has been set aside.
Outgoing city police chief excited for new role as sanitary board manager
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 12/31) Outgoing Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper says he’s looking forward to his new role managing the city’s sanitary board. As Mayor Danny Jones leaves office Jan. 7, Cooper will retire after nearly 25 years at the police department. He’ll start as manager of the Charleston Sanitary Board Jan. 8. Cooper said the new job will be challenging in a different way than being a police officer.
Bruceton Mills receives grant to help fund new sidewalks
(The Dominion Post 12/31) Bruceton Mills will soon have new handicapped accessible sidewalks, according to Mayor Cathy Smith. Smith said a $120,000 grant from the West Virginia Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program will allow sidewalks along WV 73 to be replaced. Smith said the town set aside $30,000 before it applied for the grant, bringing the total cost of the project to $150,000. She said there was not enough funds in the grant for lighting.
Winfield mayor hopes to address sewage issues, expand city boundaries
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 12/31) Re-elected to a fourth term as mayor of Winfield, Randy Barrett is looking to continue to make strides on long term goals like fixing the sewage system and a project to expand the Putnam County city’s boundaries. The city’s sewer plant was built in the mid-1980s, when Winfield was largely a farming community. The plant has been in violation of dumping excessive ammonia into the Kanawha River on and off since 2001. Winfield invested $2 million in 2009 to dredge and clean its existing sewer lagoon system.
As time marches on, 2018 leaves a soggy footprint on Charleston
(Charleston Gazette-Mail 12/31) The year 2018 set the high-water mark for precipitation in Charleston, where the previous annual record for rainfall was washed away by more than 5.5 inches of record-setting moisture. As of early Dec. 31, 66.56 inches of precipitation had been tallied in Charleston since Jan. 1, 2018, surpassing the previous annual precipitation record of 61.01 inches for West Virginia’s capital city set 15 years earlier, according to National Weather Service climate data. Elkins, with 69.80 inches of annual precipitation recorded as the final hours of 2018 ticked down, posted its second-wettest year on record, while Beckley recorded its third-soggiest year with 56.86 inches.
Clements To Push For I-68 Expansion
(The Intelligencer 12/31) Expanding Interstate 68 from Morgantown to Moundsville will be on the agenda when the West Virginia Legislature convenes next month, Sen. Charles Clements, the new chairman of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said. Clements sees the expansion of the road leading to improved economic conditions in undeveloped areas between Marshall and Monongalia counties, and then leading into Marion and Harrison counties.
Huntington sees second-wettest year on record
(The Herald-Dispatch 1/1) Huntington experienced its second-wettest year on record in 2018, joining several West Virginia cities that saw precipitation accumulations far above average annual totals. The city's year-to-date precipitation total was 60.25 inches on Monday, which was just shy of the record 62.44 inches set in 2011. Right behind that is 1989, which experienced 59.98 inches of precipitation, making it the third-wettest year. The average annual rainfall in Huntington is 42 inches.
Schools construction to ramp up in 2019
(The Parkersburg News and Sentinel 1/1) Wood County Schools officials say several construction projects will be taking shape in 2019. At the Wood County Board of Education’s last meeting of 2018, board members received an update on current construction and the start of new construction in 2019 from Chris Campbell, project architect with ZMM Architects and Engineers.
Record rainfall was the story of 2018 weather in West Virginia
(WVMetroNews 1/1) Fans of rain certainly enjoyed 2018 in West Virginia. Record-breaking rainfall was the story of the year in the state weather wise. “This year has been unusually wet,” Andy Chilian, WSAZ Meteorologist, said. “For example for Charleston, this is the wettest year on record. And the records go back in the late 1890s.” Chilian said Charleston broke its 2003 record of 61 inches of rain by more than five inches. Yeager Airport in the capital city measured 66.56 inches of rain on the final day of the calendar year.
Initiative underway for flood damaged properties
(Bluefield Daily Telegraph 1/2) Several houses and one church are in the process of being demolished in Kellysville, and county officials want the public to be aware of the program. Vicky Reed, Mercer County administrator, said it’s part of a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) initiative for people who own property in a flood zone, a “buyout” process under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Weirton-Steubenville Corridor sees nation’s highest percentage of construction job growth
(The Intelligencer 1/2) The shale gas industry’s impact on the Weirton-Steubenville metropolitan area is expanding. The Associated General Contractors of America reported the largest percentage gain in construction jobs in the nation — 26 percent, or 500 jobs — occurred in the Weirton-Steubenville corridor, which consists of Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio.
Mayor: Two hotels, bank coming to Moundsville
(The Intelligencer 1/3) The city’s newly minted mayor quickly took charge Wednesday evening for his first council meeting, eager to announce new developments in and around town. Mayor Phil Remke presented plans for three completed buildings — two hotels and a bank — alongside several proposed images for a redesigned town logo. The hotels, a Holiday Inn Express and a Marriott, are planned to occupy a 10.4-acre space adjacent to the Kroger Plaza on the south end of town. The bank, owned by Unified, will go at the intersection of Seventh Street and Tomlinson Avenue, adjacent to the current police station.
Wheeling City Council OKs another downtown facade grant
(The Intelligencer 1/3) City council approved grant funding for improvements to another downtown commercial building at its first meeting of the year Wednesday. Council, which met Wednesday due to the New Year’s Day holiday, awarded its ninth Facade Improvement Program grant to the Maxwell Center, 32 20th Street. The program provides up to $15,000 per building to improve the exteriors of downtown structures.
Crews to begin sinkhole repair after sewer main collapse
(The Herald-Dispatch 1/3) The Huntington Water Quality Board will begin repairs to a sewer main collapse at 9th Street and 3rd Avenue on Thursday morning, Jan. 3. At that time, 9th Street, from 4 1/2 Alley to 3rd Avenue, will be closed to traffic. Third Avenue will remain open to traffic in both directions but will divert off the 9th Street intersection. Conditions may change and additional lane closures may become necessary once excavations begin for line repair.
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