City council to consider dedicating Packard Square

PARKERSBURG – Packard Square’s streets may soon become city streets.

A motion to dedicate those streets was unanimously approved Tuesday by Parkersburg’s Public Works Committee at the behest of Councilman John Kelly. That motion will now go to the full Parkersburg City Council for approval.

Kelly said the homes in Packard Square, which is near 36th Street, were built more than 20 years ago, and contractors at that time received variances from city council with the intention the area would be dedicated by the city.

Since then, Kelly said, the contractors involved with the project have moved on, and the neighborhood was left to deal with the streets. Mayor Bob Newell said the city does not plow, salt or maintain those streets because they are not city property.

“Everybody is gone except the people who own the houses,” Kelly said. “They are the only people left holding the bag and we need to make those people whole.”

In 2007 a motion to dedicate the streets died after a 4-4 vote by council. Officials said they were unsure why the move was opposed by some council members.

“I still hold my opinion that it ought to be dedicated,” Newell said. “But, it’s going to cost us some money.”

City Engineer Justin Smith said he did not have accurate estimates of the cost, but said it could range from $15,000 or more depending on the amount of street and drainage work needed. The committee requested estimates to be brought to council for consideration.

Smith said those costs could include replacing slabs of concrete in the road, expanding the road or cul-de-sac, and eventually adding in new curbs.

The area also does have some drainage issues, he said.

“It’s not excessive, but there have been complaints,” Smith said.

Work on the street would be an ongoing process, such as maintaining other city streets or bringing other areas within the city up to code.

“I don’t think all of it needs to be done right now,” Smith said.

Newell said he would oppose any move by the city to ask the Packard Square residents to pay for part of the cost of dedicating the streets.

“I opposed doing that now since we’ve done it for free for many, many years in other areas,” Newell said. “I hate to charge some citizens money, some not” when dedicating streets within the city.