MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Commission on Wednesday joined the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization in throwing its support behind a Westover project to build a sidewalk along Fairmont Road.
The city hopes to secure a Community Development Block Grant to help finance the project. Both the commission and the MPO issued letters of support backing the city’s application.
Westover Public Works Director Jason Stinespring said the city intends to apply for the $500,000 maximum grant award and is currently exploring ways to include a local match in an effort to boost the project’s application score
The sidewalk, as currently envisioned, would start where Savannah Street meets Fairmont Road — basically across the street from the Mountain Line Transit Authority.
“We’d start there and go toward the interstate as far as we can with the money we get, then reapply for another grant,” Stinespring said. “Ideally, we’d like to take it down to Advance Auto.”
Westover has to submit the grant by Feb. 24 and is currently taking public comment through a survey on the city website, westoverwv.org. Comments can also be dropped off in-person at city hall.
In its letter, the commission states the new sidewalk is “vital to the safety and well-being of our community given the large segment of our pedestrian population.”
The project is ranked as a Tier 1 priority in the MPO Metropolitan Transportation Plan adopted this past May.
“It’s something that’s been talked about for a while. We have a lot of support and I think that will help a lot,” Stinespring said.
In other news, consideration of Monongalia County’s comprehensive plan will begin Jan. 25 with a first reading.
A public hearing and second reading will occur Feb. 1.
West Virginia code mandates political subdivisions update their comprehensive plans every 10 years for the purpose of informing future decisions regarding land use, transportation, economic development and housing.
The 2023 update to Monongalia County’s comprehensive plan is available online at monongaliacounty.gov.