Wilmington City Council Allocates CARES Funding, Postpones WAVE Agreement

Aug 19, 2020

After missing a meeting due to the recent hurricane, Wilmington City Council was back in session Tuesday, Aug. 18 -- with CARES funding, WAVE Transit, and Downtown Alive on the agenda.

Tuesday night, council heard a presentation on the success of Downtown Alive -- the initiative that’s opened Front and Princess Streets for expanded restaurant seating and retail amidst indoor-capacity restrictions in light of COVID-19. Terry Espy, President of the Downtown Business Alliance, requested an expansion of the program:

“Every one of the business owners, and many others outside of the current four blocks are asking us to continue this program. At least they'd like to see it through Thanksgiving.”

Later in the meeting, Councilman Kevin O’Grady voiced concerns that TransPro -- the consultant working on WAVE’s restructuring -- isn’t properly prioritizing the riders who rely most on public transportation. After discussion, council agreed to postpone a decision on funding TransPro’s contract.

Other items took up less meeting time -- including the allocation of emergency funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. $420,000 were granted to the Good Shepherd Center for rent and utility aid to low-income households. And multiple educational programs for at-risk youth also received awards.

The Black Lives Matter art installation was also addressed at Tuesday’s meeting -- coverage on that can be found here.