NEW CUMBERLAND -City Council members on Monday learned the Weirton Transit Corp. had discontinued bus service to the city.
The Weirton Transit Corp. had been providing bus service to New Cumberland on Tuesdays and Thursdays and picking up the cost while it gathered statistics on ridership. During a previous council meeting, council members agreed to continue enrollment in the program.
The bus service had extended to Hancock County, Follansbee and Wellsburg with the transit authority picking up most of the tab for service. In September, Kevin Beynon, WTC transit manager, told council members both the Brooke County Commission and Follansbee had declined to participate further in the program. At the time, Beynon told New Cumberland Council this would affect the city's portion of funding to keep participating in the program, and the city would have to pay a portion to continue service. Council had voted to continue in the program.
However, during Monday's meeting, Beynon told council ridership numbers for bus service to the city were too low to continue the program.
"It's something new," said Beynon of the program. "If it's OK with (council), I'd like to try again in another year. I promise, I won't give up on you."
Beynon also thanked council members for supporting the pilot program.
In other matters:
Second Ward Councilman Arthur Watson said he attended a seminar Thursday in Parkersburg hosted by Main Street West Virginia, an advocacy group dedicated to finding resources and guidance for downtown revitalization projects. However, Watson told council the city is not yet ready to seek the organization's help for the city's downtown projects.
"This year they are only going to accept four cities (throughout the state) into the program," said Watson, adding it was difficult to get into the program. "We are nowhere near ready to (apply into the program)."
Council decided to table the matter for the time being.
George Hines, community service director, told council the city is eligible for a $5,000 matching grant through the West Virginia Community Partnership program. Hines said the city would have to pay 20 percent, or $1,000, to receive the additional funds. He added funds will be used for a city welcome sign, fencing, improvements at the park, new Christmas lights, American flags, a new community bulletin board and more.
"I think $5,000 will cover it," said Hines of the grant. "Believe me - none of it will go to waste."
Council unanimously voted to accept the grant.
There will be a meeting of the streets committee at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Council members are asking for city residents' participation in the meeting. If interested, call (304) 281-1128. The police committee will meet at 4 p.m. Monday. Both meetings will be in council chambers in the Municipal Building.
The city's new drug prevention program will meet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the former municipal building at the corner of Jefferson Street and River Avenue. Those interested in discussing the city's drug prevention efforts are encouraged to attend.
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)