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Wheeling Sesquicentennial budget has many sources

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WHEELING, WV -

A big birthday celebration usually generates a big price tag.

In Wheeling, the Sesquicentennial celebration will run about $130,000, according to Mayor Andy McKenzie, who said the state's birthday can be celebrated anywhere, but Wheeling is the state's true birth place.

"We're very fortunate we have a governor who believes in Wheeling, and who was very gracious to give us funding from the Governor's Office," McKenzie said. "We have a Senate President from Marshall County who was very generous and gave us money for the project, and we have also received dollars from our Legislature.

"Ultimately Wheeling received state tax dollars for our 150th, the difference is we had to go out and work with our governor and work with our Legislature to receive those dollars, unlike the event in Charleston."

Chelsea Ruby, executive director for the WV Sesquicentennial Commission, said the Commission's grant program has given out more than $200,000 to local groups throughout the state for events to commemorate both the Civil War and the state's 150th birthday. The City of Wheeling requested and received a $5,000 grant in 2012, Ruby said, and the city did not apply for a grant in 2013.

Ruby said the Governor's Office provided $25,000 to the city in June 2012 along with $20,000 in a Community Participation Grant to the city.

"Everyone chipped in, from all parts," said Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons, D-Ohio. "From the city, the county and the state, to make a great celebration."