Parkersburg City Council to talk budget revisions

PARKERSBURG — City Council will consider a pair of budget revisions, two alley vacations and the rescheduling of its August sessions when members meet Tuesday.

The agenda for the meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building, includes a resolution allocating $36,000 in matching funds for a grant to assist with repairs to the Henry Cooper Log Cabin Museum in City Park and $50,000 in carryover money to install a new sewer connection at fire station 5 on Blizzard Drive.

The cabin is the oldest documented structure in Wood County and houses a collection of historical artifacts. Age and weather have taken their toll on the structure, and Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce has proposed a multiyear effort to replace deteriorating logs and make other repairs.

The city budgeted $25,000 for potential matching funds for the grant last year. The revision proposes allocating those carried-over funds, along with $11,000 from the auction of city property that has not yet been reappropriated, Finance Director Eric Jiles said.

The revision would also reflect the $36,000 in federal grant funds, passed through the state, the city will receive.

The $50,000 for the Fire Department sewer connection was also budgeted last year, but the project was not completed before the fiscal year ended on June 30.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews said the connection would link the station and the neighboring police substation to a sewer line across Blizzard Drive, rather than the unreliable pump mechanism the buildings currently use.

“We’ve had to replace it … at least two times in the last four years,” he said.

Matthews said the plan is to bore the connection under the road so as not to have to dig into the street itself.

Another resolution would slate council’s August meetings for Aug. 6 and 13, instead of the usual second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

City Development Director Rickie Yeager said Spire Development is planning to build an apartment complex in the area of Buckeye Street and Camden Avenue but needs the city to vacate the utility rights of way on a previously abandoned alley on the property before it can proceed. The company requested an “expedited timeline” on the two readings required for such an action to accommodate their construction schedule, he said.

Rather than hold a special meeting on Aug. 6, the resolution proposes holding one regular council meeting that night and another on Aug. 13. A special Municipal Planning Commission session has been scheduled for Friday, Aug. 2, to consider the matter.

Council President Mike Reynolds said he supported moving the meeting date to aid efforts to redevelop the property, which Yeager said is currently being used as a church parking lot.

“They’re going to put it to great use,” Reynolds said.

Also on the agenda:

* A resolution authorizing Joyce to sign an agreement for a $3,000 state Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan litter control grant for supervisor wages for the city’s inmate cleanup program.

* The final readings of ordinances vacating alleys off Dooley Avenue and 25th Street.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com