Parkersburg City Council to meet amid budget hearings

PARKERSBURG — The next regular Parkersburg City Council meeting comes in the midst of municipal budget hearings.

People will have the chance to weigh in on the 2021-22 budget and capital plan during a public hearing at Tuesday’s council meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in council chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building. The documents can be viewed online at http://parkersburgcity.com/pc/services-2/finance/finance-reports/.

Council will meet in the chambers as the Committee of the Whole at 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to review the $38.2 million spending plan and consider amendments to it.

Among the proposals in the budget are a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for all employees except elected officials, a continuation of the $500 Business and Occupation Tax exemption for some businesses, $1.5 million for paving, $600,000 for stormwater improvements and $300,000 for blighted property demolitions.

The budget hearing schedule is:

* Monday: engineering; code administration; Municipal Building; public works; marketplace; floodwall; streets; street lighting; Central Garage; street cleaning; stormwater management; parks and recreation; coal severance; user fee; public safety, parks, recreation capital projects; demolition capital projects; parks and recreation fund; sanitation fund; and Memorial Bridge fund.

* Wednesday: civil service, mayor, council, finance, city clerk, municipal judge, city attorney, development, personnel, contributions from other funds, police, fire, minor operating budgets, discretionary agency funding and parking fund.

* Thursday: Amendments will be considered.

During Tuesday’s meeting, council will be asked to approve two budget revisions.

One would allocate $175,000 of the nearly $1.9 million unappropriated fund balance in the capital reserve fund for a project to line the Southwood Park pool. The city recently received a bid of $172,000 to repair a crack in the pool that lets in mud that damaged the pool’s pump last summer, causing it to close early.

“This is what this (money) is for,” Mayor Tom Joyce said.

“If council approves the revision, we’ll award (the contract) in short order,” he said, adding the work should be done in time for the pool to open Memorial Day weekend.

With the new pump and other recent improvements, “the main components of that pool will be basically brand new,” Joyce said.

The other revision would appropriate $10,811 in the sanitation fund to hire three temporary workers.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of tenured employees who have a lot of vacation,” Joyce said. “Any absentee in sanitation results in a trash route getting shut down.”

The trash is still picked up on the same day, leading to more work for other employees and overtime, he said. An increase in gross tonnage in recent years and people delaying vacation last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, Joyce said.

On final reading is an ordinance granting a B&O exemption for five years for the construction or renovation of buildings in territory annexed into the city and for new residential construction, up to $200,000, anywhere in the city.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.


Upcoming Parkersburg City Council meetings

* Monday: 6 p.m., Committee of the Whole, budget hearing, council chambers

* Tuesday: 7:30 p.m., regular council meeting, council chambers

* Wednesday: 6 p.m., Committee of the Whole, budget hearing, council chambers

* Thursday: 6 p.m., Committee of the Whole, budget hearing, council chambers


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