School crew teams may use former meter shop

PARKERSBURG – Mayor Bob Newell has asked the Parkersburg Utility Board to allow local high school crew teams the use of a Staunton Avenue facility.

Newell, who acts as chairman of the utility board, on Wednesday asked that the Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South High school crew teams be allowed to store equipment at the utility’s Staunton Avenue meter shop, which is in the process of being vacated.

The teams “have been wanting a place of their own for a while now,” Newell said. “We’ve been working with them for about a year to help them find a place. This could be a help to them until they find a better facility.”

Though the building is owned by the city, its use falls under the utility board. Newell said he would have a contract drawn up by the city attorney and brought to the board for a vote at its Jan. 16 meeting.

Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett said he saw no issue with the deal.

“At this point I don’t see a problem with that,” he said.

The utility board purchased a facility on 19th Street about three years ago and has been in the process of moving its water distribution maintenance and meter shop to consolidate services.

The two teams are moving from their shared facility along the Ohio River in Vienna, where they had housed equipment for nearly five years, after the owner decided to lease the property to a business. The teams had looked at relocating to the Adventure Pursuit property along the Little Kanawha River near Parkersburg.

Newell said a deal with the city and the utility board would allow the vacant building to see use and still give the teams access to the Little Kanawha for practices.