Wheeling user fee now in effect, but what will the money be used for?

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s officially a new year, and with a new year comes new expenses.

One of those expenses is the two-dollar user fee in Wheeling. It took effect as of January 1, and will continue for 25 years.

By now, many of you know what the user fee is and why the city decided to implement it, but do you know exactly where the money is going?

The two-dollar fee will provide one-dollar per week for the new proposed public safety building, and one dollar per week for multiple infrastructure projects across the city, including many city-owned bridges that are in poor condition.  

A list of infrastructure improvements that will be funded by the user fee.

City council has already approved the list of projects that are very important to all citizens in wheeling; slip repairs, bridge repairs, storm sewers, those types of things that the user fee will also be utilized for. So, not only will we hopefully build a public safety building, which is desperately needed, but also throughout the city, various infrastructure improvements will be made.

Bob Herron, Wheeling City Manager

Annually, that one-dollar fee for infrastructure will bring in around one million dollars. The city will pair that with grants and funds to complete a list of 22 projects across the city.

As for the public safety building, the controversial location on 19th street is still up in the air.

With all the information that will be provided through the due diligence process, we will make a final decision as to whether or not we want to acquire that property and build this facility at that sight.  Having said that, we continue to look at other buildings, other sites throughout the city as a possible location for either a public safety building, or a police station and separate fire station.

Bob Herron, Wheeling City Manager

An important thing to note is many employees will not see the fee deducted from their paycheck until possibly the end of the month. That is because each employer has its own unique pay schedule.

Remember, if you’re an employee in the city for more than 30 days, you must pay the two-dollar fee.

Some pay on the 15th and the 30th, some pay every other week, some pay weekly. So, it just depends on each employer. But, effective January 1st, and from that date on, the user fee will be included as part of a deduction from employees who work in the city’s payroll.

Bob Herron, Wheeling City Manager

City officials want to remind you that Wheeling is one of the last of the larger cities left in the state to introduce a user fee.

Although they’re aware some people oppose, they say the two-dollar fee is needed and will benefit those who pay for it directly through city improvements.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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