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Moundsville and Benwood Residents To Vote on Bus Levy

October 21, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Moundsville voters will decide during next month's general election if they want public bus service provided by the Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority.

Meanwhile, in Benwood, voters will decide whether to approve bus service from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015, two fiscal years. The current levy, passed in May, expires on June 30, 2013.

Moundsville's levy would last for three years, beginning July 1, 2013. According to the levy schedule, the cost for property owners is 8.64 cents per $100 off assessed property for Class II, or owner-occupied property, or 17.28 cents per $100 of assessed Class IV property. The levy, if approved, would generate $245,844.59 annually.

OVRTA Executive Director Tom Hvizdos appeared before Moundsville City Council earlier this year to discuss the issue. He noted in November 2010 voters in Moundsville voted 57 percent to 43 percent in favor of bus service, however, since it was an excess levy the state requires a 60 percent favorable vote, which caused the vote to fail.

Proposed routes would include having buses going east to Poplar Avenue, along Jefferson Avenue from First to 10th streets, on 10th Street where the Golden Towers and Helfer Pavilion are located. There would be stops at Wal-Mart and the Busy Beaver Plaza.

The rates for property owners in Benwood would be the same as Moundsville.

Benwood residents nearly lost their bus service this year after town council initially decided not to place it on the ballot.

Council members were upset because the OVRTA board previously decreased Benwood's service to help fund trial levies to Moundsville and The Highlands. Stops in Benwood were reduced to once every hour, rather than once every 30 minutes.

However, after hearing from residents who said they wanted to vote on the matter, council changed its stance.

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