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PM Company seeks water, sewer for Fort Boreman development

Company plans to donate land for sports complex

PM Company managing member Jason Minnite passes out aerial images of the company’s land on Fort Boreman Hill during Tuesday’s Parkersburg Utility Board meeting. Also pictured are, clockwise from left, PUB Manager Eric Bennett, PM Company real estate director Jared Decker, Parkersburg Mayor and PUB Chairman Tom Joyce and PUB member Greg Herrick. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — The PM Company is seeking help from public entities to extend water and sewer service to property on Fort Boreman Hill for planned residential and commercial development, in addition to a proposed youth sports complex.

Representatives of the company attended Tuesday’s Parkersburg Utility Board meeting and presented an aerial view of the approximately 180 acres of the property it owns with potential development sites marked.

Although nothing is set in stone, managing member Jason Minnite pointed to possible development of 140,000 square feet of commercial space, 50 residential lots and a 48-acre tract where a sports complex for youth baseball, softball, soccer or other activities could be built. The sports complex space would be donated by the company, he said.

“We want to give back,” Minnite said. “We want to give something to the city to get this thing rolling.”

“Our plan is to donate the land and write a check on top of that” to help develop the complex, said Jared Decker, real estate director for the PM Company.

Parkersburg Utility Board Manager Eric Bennett speaks during Tuesday’s board meeting as PM Company real estate director Jared Decker listens. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce, the PUB’s chairman, said he hopes the city can partner with Wood County on the complex. He said that even in the pandemic-transformed year of 2020, travel youth sports remained a multibillion-dollar industry.

“I think it’s just a tremendous opportunity,” he said.

The Fort Boreman Hill property has long been seen as ripe for development. The PM Company bought it in 2014 and a year later announced plans to donate 10 acres for a proposed minor league baseball park and entertainment venue. That project, spearheaded by Wood County Economic Development and a previous city administration, didn’t come to fruition.

“I’ve been looking and hoping that something would happen (on the property) for a long time,” said PUB Manager Eric Bennett.

Bennett estimated it would cost between $1.3 million and $1.5 million to take the utilities up the hill. The bulk of the cost would be in adding sewer.

Joyce said some of the funding could come from a state grant, noting that Secretary of Economic Development Mitch Carmichael had visited the site in recent weeks and discussed the potential project with area officials. But some local money is needed as well.

“He (Carmichael) was pretty clear that if you want to secure one of these water and sewer development grants, you need to have some skin in the game,” Joyce said.

That could equate to 20 to 40 percent of the price, he said.

PM Company officials plan to make presentations on the project in the coming weeks to the Wood County Commission and Parkersburg City Council.

The PUB, which would apply for the grant and own the infrastructure, could also contribute, Joyce said.

“If they’re willing to do it, the project, we need to … help put utilities up there,” PUB member Robert Wright said.

The board voted unaninmously to instruct Bennett and Comptroller Erin Hall to look at possible ways for the PUB to contribute to the local funding for the proposed water and sewer extension.

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