Wood County awaiting word on stimulus money

WTAP News @ 5 - Wood County still waiting for guidance on spending stimulus money
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Wood County is still awaiting its allotment of federal recovery act money-along with some guidance as to what it can be used for.

After the bill was passed by Congress in March, Sen. Joe Manchin’s office announced Wood County would get $16 million of the $1.9 trillion in the approved bill.

But the money can only be used for certain purposes and projects.

Like other local governments, the Wood County Commission has a “wish list” of needs it hopes can be paid for with that federal money.

”Broadband expansion is being discussed at the state level,” says Commission President Blair Couch. “We have made our interest known that we would like to participate, specifically for the southern part of the county. I think there’s other areas that need help as well. So once we have a full understanding, we’ll be able to move forward.”

Couch has a wish of his own: that the West Virginia Legislature would allow counties to impose a 1% local sales tax , identical to what the cities of Parkersburg and Vienna already charge.

A bill granting counties that option is under consideration in Charleston, but with a few days remaining in the regular session, Couch isn’t certain it will get final passage.

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