WELLSBURG - Beginning this week Wellsburg residents and others could take a shuttle bus from the city to Weirton as part of an experiment by the Weirton Transit Corp.
Ted Salonica, assistant manager of the WTC, said the public transportation agency will be making stops in Wellsburg on Tuesdays and Thursdays up to June in an attempt to gage interest.
Riders may leave any of three Wellsburg sites for Weirton Medical Center, the Weirton Wal-mart, Weirton Kmart and Mary H. Weir Public Library and return to Wellsburg for $2.50.
The WTC has asked Wellsburg City Council to consider providing $4,000 toward the routes' cost in June if the experiment is a success.
Barbara Zimnox of the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission, said the move was spurred by requests from Wellsburg residents after the WTC began making stops in December at the north and south ends of Follansbee on a trial basis.
Zimnox aided the WTC in securing a federal grant for an additional bus for routes to Follansbee, Wellsburg and New Cumberland.
The Weirton Transit Corp. has asked the three communities to contribute toward the grant's match.
In Follansbee, where stops are made at the Family Dollar Store and Dollar General Market near Bruin Drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays, city officials are being asked to provide $4,000 per year.
New Cumberland City Council is being asked to supply $2,000 because the WTC makes stops on one day there.
Salonica said scheduled Wellsburg pickups may change to suit demand and ensure smooth operation but currently are as follows: Kroger store, 10:34 a.m.; Brooke County Courthouse, 10:44 a.m.; Rite Aid, 10:49 a.m.; Unity Apartments, 10:54 a.m.
The bus will return to the Kroger store at 2:27 p.m., Brooke County Courthouse at 2:37 p.m., Rite Aid at 2:43 p.m. and Unit Apartments at 2:50 p.m.
The rides will be a part of a loop that includes stops at the Dollar General Market and Family Dollar Store in Follansbee before proceeding to Weirton and back.
Salonica said the WTC will advise council of the number of riders from Wellsburg before June, so the board took no action on the financial request.
But Mayor Sue Simonetti said she believes it will provide a valuable service to the city's many senior citizens.
In other business, council:
Approved a $1.3 million budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. City Manager Mark Henne confirmed about $95,000 was cut from last year's budget to reflect a drop in property tax but said it won't change services offered by the city.
Henne said he and city department heads are making an effort to keep spending low.
"We watch everything we do, we have a purchase order system, and we're basically pretty tight," he said.
Approved applications for up to $15,000 in state grants for landscaping and other improvements to the city's Central Park and for repairs to the tennis court at the Betty Carr Recreation Site.
Recognized the Wellsburg Middle School seventh-grade boys basketball team for winning the Buckeye-Mountaineer Athletic Conference championship and an undefeated 14-game season; and the Brooke High School boys swim team for winning the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championship and Kaylea Dulaney, a member of the girls swim team, for setting every individual record for female swimmers at the school.
Dulaney also earned two gold medals at the OVAC championship, placed second in the 100-meter backstroke at the state championship, was one of two swimmers to complete the backstroke in less than a minute, and placed third in the 100-meter butterfly.
Boys swim team member Derek Wayne placed first and received gold medals in the 200-meter freestyle and 500-meter freestyle, setting a new school record for the latter, at the OVAC championship; and placed second in the 500-meter freestyle and third in the 200-meter freestyle at the state championship.
Relay teams from the school earned silver and bronze medals at the OVAC championship.
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