Information packet developed for new Wood County residents

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Development Authority has developed an information packet for new residents.

The Wood County Welcome Packet includes information about services, agencies and requirements of which a new resident may be unaware, according to Lindsey Piersol, director of the authority.

“It pretty much has any information you would need,” said Piersol, who on Monday morning briefed the Wood County Commission on what the authority has been doing. “You name it, it’s in there.”

The welcome wagon idea came from Commissioner Bob Tebay about six months ago.

Huntington Bank has agreed to sponsor the packets and will finance their printing, Piersol said. Local companies and groups have already expressed an interest in using the packets, including Chemours, she said.

“I’m sure the CVB (Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau) would like some of those,” Commissioner Blair Couch said.

In other development authority areas, interest from businesses is building in locating in an opportunity zone in Wood County, Piersol said.

Two zones are in the county in downtown Parkersburg and on W.Va. 47 along the river, she said.

“It’s started to pick up traction,” Piersol said.

The authority also is developing a prospectus to show prospects, she said.

Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives for developing in low-income areas. The zones were created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Commissioner Jimmy Colombo recommended both sides of Route 47 be part of an opportunity zone. Zones can’t be expanded or amended after they are created, according to Piersol.

Hino Motors is all in at the former Coldwater Creek East Coast Distribution Center off Route 14 in south Parkersburg, Piersol said. The company spent more than $100 million to prepare the massive facility for its truck assembly plant.

The company plans an August ribbon cutting, she said.

“They’re all moved in,” Piersol said. “Things are going really well.”

In other business, the commission approved an application for funding the Prevention Resource Officer at Blennerhassett Middle School. Counties apply for funds through the state for a maximum of $28,000, but will probably be the same amount as the current year, $15,000, grants writer Toni Tiano said.

The local match will be around $9,800, she said.

Rick Woodyard, director of the 911 dispatch center, said the agency is ready to advertise for bids for the construction of a communications tower in the DuPont Road-Chemours area that will improve communications for public safety agencies in the environs of Lubeck, Belleville, Rockport and Washington, Woodyard said.

Construction will take three to four months, he said.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.