Quarter of a million dollars to fund West Side community survey

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Starting as soon as this summer residents in Charleston’s West Side may be getting a knock on their door — from a consultant.

On Tuesday, the City of Charleston approved using a quarter of a million dollars, $250,000, by the McGee Foundation to create a master plan to improve the lives of residents on the West Side.

Charleston’s City Finance Chair Joseph Jenkins says the West Side is a big area, and this grassroots approach to going door to door to reach people is new.

“Before its usually been through community meetings and things of that nature, everyone has probably heard of the westside plan through CURA but that was just limited in scope to the certain areas of urban renewal that CURA focuses on and it’s really limited jurisdictionally,” said Jenkins.

Consultants will visit residents from Edgewood to Elk City to Bigley Avenue to North Charleston to gather input.

In a statement, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin wrote: “I firmly believe that when you meet people where they are and ask them what they are struggling with you are going to learn so much more.”

Jenkins says the sky is the limit when it comes to what projects they’ll come up with from residents.

“You know, we don’t want to just confine ourselves to just the traditional idea of ‘well, here’s a project — let’s build a park here’ or something like that,” he said.

Still, he says the grassroots survey is just the first step, and whatever the consensus is from residents about how to improve the West Side, the city and the McGee Foundation will make sure to take the next steps of securing funding for it.

“They’re not putting up a quarter of a million dollars just to do some study that gets put on the shelf and walk away,” he said.

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