January 07, 2016

FMCTA shows pride in transfer station | Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin visited Fairmont on Wednesday.

Manchin, D-W.Va., stopped by the Fairmont-Marion County Transit Authority’s (FMCTA) newest transfer station at 401 Monroe St. He was invited by George Levitsky, certified community transit manager for the FMCTA.

Also in attendance were state Sen. Roman Prezioso, D-Marion; Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion; Delegate Linda Longstreth, D-Marion; Delegate Mike Caputo, D-Marion; and Robin Gomez, city manager of Fairmont. The 34th class of Leadership Marion also stopped by.

According to Levitsky, FMCTA acquired the property in 2009. The agency had been saving money over the years, not knowing what it would be used for.

In 2013, the transit authority put in new windows and a new roof. In 2014, the outside renovations were done to make the building look more aesthetically pleasing. Crosby Brothers, a local construction company, did the inside of the building. Some of the inside renovations include a tin roof, constructed to look like one from the 1920s, and a wood floor. The transfer station opened in May 2015.

Levitsky said the reason the agency was able to renovate this building was due to the levy in Marion County.

“We’re very fortunate countywide to have a levy,” he said.

Levitsky called it their “hub and spoke.” They see 300 to 400 people a day through the transfer station.

“We got a place we can be proud of. We got a place we can show off to our local senator,” Levitsky said.

“It’s so beautiful,” Manchin said of the transfer station. “Over the years there were so many different businesses ... and then it went in disrepair and it was vacant. And you were afraid, ‘Well, they’re going to tear that down like they tore everything else down.’ It’s a historical value. “I just think it’s wonderful. I don’t think you could have a more welcoming part of the people coming in and needing transportation to be treated with this quality, this cleanliness.” Manchin mentioned during the tour of the transfer station that a five-year transportation bill had been passed. Manchin said this was a U.S. Senate transportation bill and that it had been a long time since a transportation bill had been passed.

Manchin said he hadn’t seen a transportation bill since 2005, when he was first governor. He said the state of West Virginia will receive $2.3 billion over a five-year period.

Manchin said this bill gives the state the chance to plan and do the maintenance and repairs needed.

“You have to have transportation,” he said.

Manchin said the reason these road repairs are important is because it costs taxpayers more than $700 million a year for the repairs needed for the bad roads. Manchin also said there are a lot of deficiencies in West Virginia’s bridges and secondary roads, and that they all need work. “All of our secondary roads are in bad shape,” he said.

Manchin said it’s time for an upgrade. Patching has been done over the past few years, but he said now it’s time to resurface the roads.

He said the ability, opportunity and resources to do the repairs exist and now is the time to “plan it out and do it.”

By:  Michelle Dillon