Parkersburg City Council plans workshop

President wants to set priorities for 2018

Photo by Evan Bevins Parkersburg City Councilman Mike Reynolds, left, chairman of the city’s Urban Renewal Authority, speaks about the possibility of the authority having houses built on lots it owns during the group’s meeting Tuesday as Councilmen J.R. Carpenter, John Reed, Zach Stanley and Jeff Fox listen. The topic is expected to be brought up at next week’s council workshop on goals for 2018.

PARKERSBURG — City Council has slated a special meeting for Tuesday to hold a workshop on priorities for the coming year.

“I think it’s important for council to get together before the budget is set … and just simply set some goals for the year,” Council President John Reed said. “It doesn’t matter how stupid it is; fling it up against the wall and see if it sticks.

“From the ones that stick, then we’ll determine the priorities for the year,” he said.

The meeting will be held in the executive conference room on the second floor of the Municipal Building and could last two to three hours, Reed said. As a meeting of the full council, it is open to the public.

The goals are intended to focus on the city as a whole rather than individual districts, Reed said.

“I want to keep it citywide,” he said.

One topic that may be discussed is the Urban Renewal Authority taking a more proactive approach to redeveloping property it owns.

During this week’s meeting of the authority, which consists of all nine council members, Chairman Mike Reynolds said he’d like to see the authority hire a company to build a house on one of its vacant lots and sell it at the cost of the lot and construction.

“If you can make the argument that it can cure a blight … you could do that,” Assistant City Attorney Rob Tebay said.

Reynolds said that could encourage other development, and while he hopes the city continues its recent large-scale demolitions of blighted houses, “hopefully we can start some kind of reconstruction plan” as well.