PARKERSBURG - Members of the Parkersburg City Council Finance Committee will meet tonight to consider paying for improvements to traffic flow at a city shopping center.
Members will review and discuss the possibility of paying for a new traffic light on the traffic circle at the entrance to the Park Shopping Center.
Ron Salter, with Salter and Associates, said the Park Shopping Center is seeking changes to the traffic circle. Last week Salter said shopping center owners think they may invest as much as a million dollars into the center. There is also the prospect of a big box vendor going into the center.
Salter and Associates is considering a study to review potential changes to the traffic circle and the entrance to Park Shopping Center.
Officials have expressed interest in having a traffic light installed to allow traffic to exit the shopping center to go either toward Vienna or downtown Parkersburg. Right now there is only one light at the circle, allowing traffic to enter the shopping center. There is no light allowing traffic to exit.
A traffic study for the intersection would cost about $15,000. A new traffic light - if warranted - would cost about $125,000.
Salter said with the pending hotel, the new CVS pharmacy and the potential for the shopping center, the area is becoming more attractive, but it's also creating traffic issues.
Mayor Bob Newell is asking city council to fund a proposed traffic light at the shopping center. However, Salter is requesting government pay for the light and the study.
The committee will also consider options on the city's debit service. Newell said municipal league officials recently said member cities could expect a reduction in severance money and grants. Based on that, Newell said he will encourage the committee to pay down lease-purchases and consider refinancing options.
Newell said the city has computer software (finance department), the city building's HVAC system, the Memorial Bridge toll-taking system and other things that could be paid off or refinanced.
"There are all kinds of things they can do," Newell said.
Newell said the city consolidated several items (HVAC, toll-taking system, City Park building and pool work) into a larger loan package. With rates now lower, Newell is hoping the city can refinance some items at a lower rate. He is also floating the idea of paying off a street sweeper.
Paying off some of the lease-purchase could free up $8,000-$10,000 in revenue, Newell said.
Following the finance committee meeting, council will convene for its final regular meeting before the Nov. 6 general election.
Members will consider the first reading of an ordinance concerning purchasing procedures to include a provision for the use of local labor. Council will also consider the proposed lease/purchase of six vehicles for the police department, costing $172,000.
Council members will also consider the final reading of the proposed B&O tax exemption and the lease/purchase of a grader.