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Parkersburg City Council passes B&O tax exemption

Establishes committee appointments

Parkersburg City Council met on Tuesday to discuss tax exemptions and committee appointments. (Photo by Jenna Pierson)

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg City Council met Tuesday to extend the B&O tax exemption through the end of the second quarter of 2021, June 30, as well as the announcement of the 2021 committee appointments.

“I would strongly encourage city council to endorse the ordinance tonight on first reading so we can keep trying to help those folks that have been hit the hardest by all the restrictions,” Mayor Tom Joyce said.

Council Vice President Sharon Kuhl made a motion to amend the ordinance and extend it for two more fiscal quarters versus the proposed end of February 2021, explaining that it would be wise for the city budget.

Council member Bob Mercer moved the motion to a vote, and the amended B&O tax exemption passed unanimously 8-0, with council member J.R. Carpenter abstaining. Carpenter is the owner of a downtown business.

The exemption, which has been approved twice before by council, authorizes a B&O tax exemption for the first $500 owed by restaurants and retail establishments, service businesses and those renting or leasing real property. The exemptions have served as a means of returning some money to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to slow its spread.

According to Joyce, as of Sept. 30, 2020, there were approximately 906 filers who utilized the $500 exemption for their qualified businesses.

Council President Zach Stanley additionally announced the primary committee appointments for council members as follows:

∫ Finance Committee: Zach Stanley, chair; Sharon Kuhl, vice chair; members J.R. Carpenter, Jessica Cottrille and Wendy Tuck.

∫ Personnel Committee: Sharon Kuhl, chair; Bob Mercer, vice chair; members Mike Reynolds, Chris Rexroad and Austin Richards.

∫ Public Works Committee: Mike Reynolds, chair; Sharon Kuhl, vice chair; members Austin Richards, Chris Rexroad and Wendy Tuck.

∫ Storm Water Committee: Mike Reynolds, chair; members Chris Rexroad, Austin Richards, Jessica Cottrille and Wendy Tuck. In addition, Joyce, City Engineer Adam Stout and Public Works Director Everett Shears will also play a role.

∫ Community Service Committee: Sharon Kuhl, chair; members Bob Mercer, J.R Carpenter, Jessica Cottrille and Wendy Tuck.

Additional committee appointments included:

∫ Urban Renewal Authority Committee: Mike Reynolds, chair; Bob Mercer, vice chair.

∫ Wood County Economic Development Authority: Mike Reynolds.

∫ Wood County Recreation Commission: Zach Stanley.

∫ Municipal Planning Commission: Wendy Tuck.

∫ Municipal Tree Commission: Mike Reynolds.

∫ Holiday in the Park: Jessica Cottrille.

∫ Downtown PKB: Zach Stanley.

∫ Bicycle Committee: J.R. Carpenter.

∫ Downtown Facade Committee: J.R. Carpenter.

“I asked everyone where their passion lied when it came to certain committee appointments they wanted to be on,” Stanley said. “… I kind of looked at what they are good at and went from there.”

Council also unanimously passed 9-0 an ordinance on first reading referred by the Municipal Planning Commission to abandon a utility right of way and access easements on a portion of Harmon Street and a nearby alley.

The next Parkersburg City Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Council will also be meeting on Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. for a workshop to discuss short and long-term plans.

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