OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – State officials have been touring around West Virginia to talk to the public about the American Rescue Plan. The idea is to get feedback from local residents on how lawmakers in Charleston should allocate over 1.3 billion dollars worth of federal pandemic recovery funds.
Tonight’s meeting took place at the Laughlin Memorial Chapel in Wheeling, and was the fourth stop on a 55- stop tour. Officials we spoke with say that many people have been talking about infrastructure improvements, specifical improvements to local water systems.
But they’ve also been hearing some suggestions that have surprised them.
“But another surprising thing that keeps coming up is demolitions. So there are a lot of blighted properties that are damaging the communities in so many ways. They’re a danger to the public, they drive down the property values of the other property owners in the area, but they’re very expensive to tear down. And so that’s another need that’s been identified early on in this process.”Jill Upson, Executive Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs
Upson tells us that many people tend to think that whenever these funding decisions come up, that politicians in Charleston just make all the decisions. She hopes that once this tour concludes, she will be able to take the concerns of the people directly to their leaders to see real progress.