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Mountain Line puts up local match for Fairmont Road sidewalk application

The Mountain Line Transit Authority is joining Westover’s effort to secure funding for a new stretch of sidewalk along Fairmont Road.

The transit board voted unanimously this week to allocate up to $100,000 from its capital contingency account to serve as the local match for the city’s Community Development Block Grant application.

As previously reported, the city is seeking $500,000 to build a sidewalk starting at the junction of  Savannah Street and  Fairmont Road — basically right across the street from the Mountain Line facility — and running about 1,400 feet to the area of McCulla Funeral Home.

“Their sidewalk project on that side of the road would be very beneficial to our passengers. We often see people and families with strollers walking in the gutter or in the ditch. We see people walking on the side of the hill. There’s one regular rider who’s in a wheelchair and he uses the passing lane to go up the street,” Mountain Line CEO Dave Bruffy said. “None of those things are good or safe.”

Westover Public Works Director Jason Stinespring previously told The Dominion Post the city was exploring ways to include a local match in order to bolster its CDBG application score.

For its efforts, Mountain Line will add a 322-foot section of sidewalk along DuPont Road from the driveway of its central office to its upper Park & Ride lot.

Bruffy explained everybody wins “if we can work with the city of Westover to partner and help make that a more attractive application and also solve one of our problems.”

Westover has until Feb. 24 to submit the grant and is taking public comment through a survey on the city website, Comments can also be dropped off in-person at city hall.

The Fairmont Road pedestrian project is ranked as a Tier 1 priority in the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan adopted this past May.

The Monongalia County Commission issued a letter of support for the project as part of its Jan. 18 meeting.

In other Mountain Line news, the transit authority voted to move its regular monthly meetings back a week to 12 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month starting in April.

The board has traditionally met on the second Wednesday each month, causing a time crunch to get meeting information posted and distributed when the first of the month falls on a Wednesday.