Washington County commission approves grant projects, hears planned bus route changes

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Washington county commissioners approved three projects for this year’s community development block grant cycle at the weekly meeting Thursday.

With $206,000 allocated for this year, the commissioners selected projects for Salem and Grandview volunteer fire departments as well as playground upgrades for Reno community center.

The bi-annual federal Housing and Urban Development program offers funding for community projects that help raise the quality of living.

"This touches everybody in those areas," commissioner Kevin Ritter said, "it’s very important that this money is spent on behalf of the people."

Commissioners also heard from Washington-Morgan Community Action about updates to the bus routes in Marietta. Officials say these minor changes will make it easier for bus drivers to be on time.

"We haven’t really adjusted the schedule in probably I would say a decade, " housing and transportation director Kenny Vigneron said, "and in that time, there’s more traffic on the road, on the streets."

Bus officials are also looking into installing maps all around the downtown area to help riders navigate the new changes and raise awareness for the bus service.

"We think that this is probably a good way to actually increase ridership, make it easier for folks to use," Vigneron added.

The changes have to be approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation before they can take effect.