Council, committee meetings scheduled

PARKERSBURG – City council and administrators will put in a long evening Tuesday with several committee meetings leading up to the presentation of the 2013-14 budget.

The Personnel Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Parkersburg Municipal Building.

Among the discussion items are the city clerk’s position, re-alignment of the Public Works Department, a request for a part-time police clerk and a review of the city’s firefighter residency policy.

The committee meeting is scheduled to end at 6:30 p.m. when the Urban Renewal Authority convenes. If the Personnel Committee is not finished, the committee will reconvene following the City Council meeting.

Tuesday’s meeting will give council members and residents a chance to bring property concerns before the authority, John Rockhold, chairman of the Urban Renewal Authority, said. Only two agenda items are up for discussion – a recap of 2012 business and a look toward topics of discussion in 2013.

The process for claiming and demolishing a vacant structure can take time and the city has not done a good job of keeping the public updated on progress, Rockhold said.

“It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a really tedious process,” he said. “Often people will bring something to our attention and then they think nothing is being done because they don’t know all of the work that goes into getting that building removed.”

While councilmen and residents are invited to attend every meeting of the authority, Rockhold said he hopes to encourage council members to all attend on a quarterly basis to receive updates on vacant buildings in their districts.

“I would encourage the public, if they have a question about these houses, come and sit in on a meeting and we will try to answer their questions,” he said.

City Council will convene at 7:30 p.m. with Mayor Bob Newell making a presentation on the city’s 2013-14 budget. A discussion of the budget is not expected at Tuesday’s meeting.

Council will hold a series of budget workshops later in the month.

Also scheduled is a presentation on home rule and several resolutions for approval, including several capital improvement projects.

Among the items for approval:

* The appointment of Parkersburg resident Richard Newhart to the Mid-Ohio Valley Board of Health.

* A project amendment for a $3,000 grant for the Boys and Girls Club to repair of an exterior brick facade.

* Submission of a grant to construct a bridge over the Pond Run Outfall and trail from Point Park to the 12th Street floodwall gate.

* Allow for wine and beer sales during the Taste of Parkersburg.

* Submission of a grant for improvements to Avery Street between Second and Eighth streets, including sidewalks, lighting and landscaping.

* Submission of a grant for upgrades at the Clay Lab and rehab of the men’s restroom for the Parkersburg Art Center.

* An agreement with Professional Pool Management for management of city pools and waterslides during the 2013 season.