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Gov. Justice would 'welcome' input from Charleston mayor

(WSAZ)
Published: May. 19, 2020 at 2:55 PM EDT
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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he would welcome input from Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin as state and city leaders work to navigate the subsequent financial crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goodwin sent a

to the Governor Monday night offering to give input from a municipalities perspective when it comes to the needs and concerns of cities as the state prepares to divvy up the $1.25 billion stimulus money from the federal government.

"I believe by working together, we have the opportunity to provide valuable insight into the challenges being faced by cities," Goodwin said in a letter to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

The city of Charleston was on target to have a surplus as the fiscal year ends. City leaders say as a result of the COIVD-19 crisis they will end up with a deficit of $3 million.

After his daily COVID-19 news conference Tuesday, WSAZ asked Gov. Justice about Mayor Goodwin's letter.

"I think we would welcome that, really and truly. I hope it's not one of their political ploys and everything because we've seen that before. But really and truly, we welcome that," Gov. Justice said, "I talked yesterday with the representatives of the municipal leagues and the cities, and what they wanted to do is, they wanted their attorney to talk with our attorney because they have some interpretation differences and see if we could do something that would better help understand the guidelines. I said sure, absolutely, I would be absolutely for anything like that."

There is no word on when a potential meeting could happen.

The Justice Administration says it is still waiting on specific guidelines from the Federal Government as to how the CARES Act Money can be spent. The Governor is hoping that some of the money will be used to help back-fill the deficit he says has been created by the pandemic.

Democrats have suggested some of that money get moved to an emergency relief fund to be used as grants to help small businesses.

Cities and counties are now able to apply for direct COVID-19 expenses. Governor Justice says they can apply multiple times for multiple expenses directly related to COVID-19.

Applications are available at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call a helpline for more information by dialing 1-833-94-GRANT.

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