Rescue plan

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PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg City Council will consider allocating nearly $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds and an agreement to help settle an opioid lawsuit at its 7:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.

A public hearing will also be held on the draft municipal budget 2022-2023 and the capital expenditures program. Both documents can be viewed online at https://tinyurl.com/59pz33xy or at the Finance Department on the first floor of the Municipal Building.

A resolution would change the budget to reflect the actual cost of approved bonuses for city employees, while allocating $1,894,227 to the Southwood Park pool improvement project and $1 million to stormwater projects. . The item is on the board’s agenda pending approval from the finance committee at a 6 p.m. meeting on Tuesday.

The city has received half of the $22.45 million allocated to it in federal ARPA legislation, with the remainder expected in late May or early June. More than $8 million has already been allocated, including $7 million for a water system improvement project by the Parkersburg Utility Board.

The bonus awarded $1,000 to full-time city employees who worked during the pandemic and $500 to part-time employees. The original overhaul was $321,779, but the actual cost was $305,976, according to documents included with the agenda.

City officials plan to rebuild the 43-year-old pool at Southwood Park and add a variety of features. More than $880,000 has already been approved by the board, and the money proposed in this resolution would total $2,776,844, Chief Financial Officer Eric Jiles said. The project was initially estimated at around $2 million. Jiles said this amount is intended to provide sufficient resources for the project and any contingencies.

The money is classified as reimbursement for lost income due to the pandemic. Government entities do not have to calculate the exact amount of lost revenue, as funding rules allow for a base of $10 million. However, there are restrictions on how the money can be used.

“You can’t pump it into some kind of reserve. You have to spend it on operations,” Jiles said. “You can’t put it in a pension fund.”

Mayor Tom Joyce said the city still plans to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant through the National Park Service to help pay for the work, but they are not awaiting a response on that. before some time. That way the city can move forward with additional public comment and design work, he said.

“We could always get it and apply it”, Joyce said. “It all depends on the moment. »

Council Chairman Zach Stanley said he supports using the money for the swimming pool project as it is an example of “generational change” it can make a difference for people who live in the city.

“When people make memories here, they want to stay here,” he said.

The city has focused on stormwater improvements in recent years. While the allocation in the proposed budget is $250,000, only half the amount in the current budget, Joyce said he hopes the board will approve the use of ARPA funds in this manner.

The council will also consider a memorandum of understanding to help distribute funds from a $10 million settlement with a company accused of contributing to the state’s opioid crisis through the marketing of addictive painkillers. The memorandum outlines how much counties and cities will receive and how the money can be used.

“I want further clarification” Joyce said, noting that Rusty Webb, the attorney who represented the city in the litigation, will be in attendance Tuesday.

The agenda also includes a resolution naming Jeff Little and renaming Joe Stocking to the Juliana Architectural Review Board and a resolution naming Brian Brady, Tracy Brown, Candace Jones, Malcolm Lanham Jr. and Keith Roberts to the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board.

Evan Bevins can be reached at [email protected]

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Parkersburg City Council Meetings Tuesday:

* Finance Committee — 6:00 p.m., Executive Boardroom, Second Floor, Municipal Building.

* Council — 7:30 p.m., council chamber.




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