Mayor Rapp outlines plan for Vienna

PARKERSBURG – Vienna has a “bright future,” and officials will be completing a series of improvement projects in the city during the next year.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp was the guest speaker at Monday’s meeting of the Parkersburg Rotary Club. During his presentation he outlined a series of projects both underway and in the planning stages for West Virginia’s 13th largest city.

Rapp said several projects are happening now, including the building of a police department annex and a $1.8 million sewer plant project which would allow for the installation of new pump plants and repairs to the system.

Rapp said a huge driving factor in recent building efforts has been the state EPA’s stormwater management requirements. Those rules require cities to filter a percentage of rainwater before it becomes runoff in waterways to remove pollutants.

“You have to retain the first one inch of water on-site,” he said. “If you’ve got a parking lot with 2,000 cars, some of them are leaking oil or antifreeze, and when the rain comes and runs off that asphalt it takes all of those pollutants with it.

“The requirements are so stringent, if you don’t comply it is 25,000 a day in fines.”

Rapp said the city is trying to meet those requirements on all new construction and has been installing rain gardens to help meet its stormwater management needs.

The city also is looking to rehab or replace six large water tanks within the city. Three of those tanks located at Jackson Park will be replaced by one new glass tank which will require much less upkeep. Rapp said the water tanks have been in the city more than 30 years without any dramatic upkeep or repairs.

Rapp said the city is in the middle of a $1.4 million project to replace the city’s water meters with electronic meters. The electronic meters will transmit readings to a central database, eliminating the need for someone to physically read the meter at each site.

Rapp said the city has the money for the meters in the bank and will incur no debt from the project.

“We have the cash to pay for that,” he said.

Plans also are under way to repair the 28th Street bridge. Rapp said currently the bridge does not meet load requirements.

“You can’t drive a school bus or fire truck across it,” he said. The bridge will be shut down for two months this summer for repairs.