Morgantown council moves on airport grant funding, committee maintenance and welcomes new hires

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Morgantown city council approves airport funding, disbands committees and welcomes new employees.

Morgantown City Council formally accepted approximately $350,142 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the runway extension project. The funding, will be accepted via grants from the FAA that will include a match requirement from the city, that would also allow for funding matches from the state for approximately half of the city’s matched funds requirement.

“It also obligates the city to provide a match in the amount of $18,429,” said Morgantown City Manager Kim Haws. “It also calls for the authorization to the city manager, to accept from the State of West Virginia,” he said.

A decision to formally dissolve the Special Committee on Community Policing and Citizen Review Board. Mayor Jenny Selin said they expect to make appointments to the nine member board in the next three weeks.

“This committee is no longer needed, because it’s played out it’s role,” said Morgantown Mayor Jenny Selin.

The Morgantown Special Committee on Addressing Unsheltered Homelessness will be replaced by a new initiative brought to the area by the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness called Built for Zero. Deputy Mayor Danielle Trumble said our area will be one of about 100 communities in the state participating in the nationwide program.

Trumble and local leaders attended a three hour meeting to get more information on the program local leaders including faith leaders and social service providers.

“Monongalia County is going to be the first area in West Virginia for the program,” Trumble said. “I attended with Mon County Commission president Tom Bloom and Morgantown chief of police Eric Powell.”

Built for Zero is described as a movement methodology to deal with chronically homeless people in communities and the population to a “functional zero.” Information from the Built for Zero website says they “have changed how local homeless response systems work and the impact they can achieve.”

The labor shortage in the city of Morgantown is being addressed aggressively by the Human Resources Department, according to city manager Kim Haws. Haws did not elaborate on what positions were filled.

“In the last two or three months they have been instrumental in hiring 30 new staff- that’s three-zero new staff, 30 new staff within the city of Morgantown,” Haws said.

Morgantown City Council also unanimously approved the second reading of the city’s revised 2022-23 fiscal year budget, as part of it’s consent agenda.

The next committee of the whole will feature a presentation detailing how American Rescue Plan money has been spent.