February 29, 2024

Parkersburg City Council Finance Committee forwards $2.4M in revisions | News, Sports, Jobs

Parkersburg Finance Director Eric Jiles, right, discusses proposed budget revisions during a Parkersburg City Council Finance Committee meeting Tuesday at the Municipal Building as Mayor Tom Joyce listens. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg City Council’s Finance Committee on Tuesday forwarded a resolution to the full council allocating additional tax revenue to the planned activity and recreation facility at City Park, the next phase of development at Discovery World on Market and other areas.

The revisions, totaling $2.4 million, will appear on the agenda for council’s Feb. 13 meeting.

The largest portion of the revised revenue estimate is $1,358,647 in business and occupation tax revenue, pushing the projected B&O total to more than $9.2 million.

“This is apparently due to an increase in contracting revenue and also inflation,” Finance Director Eric Jiles told members of the Finance Committee during Tuesday’s meeting at the Municipal Building.

The adjustment is an effort at “right-sizing our B&O budget, if you will, to today’s economy,” he said, adding that the revised projection will be considered as he develops the 2024-25 budget.

Parkersburg City Councilwoman Sharon Kuhl, left, asks a question during Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting at the Municipal Building as Councilman Chris Rexroad listens. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

If approved by the full council, the revision would send $650,000 to a fund for parks and recreation capital projects “where we’re accumulating the resources for the activity and recreation center in” City Park, Jiles said. The additional money would put the total set aside for the estimated $13 million facility to be built on the site of the existing pavilion at $4,695,496.

The committee went into a closed, executive session to discuss the potential acquisition of property, for which $165,000 was included in the stormwater budget line item. No decision was made, and the location of the property was not disclosed.

The revision also includes $150,000 for additional storm sewer lining, as well as $200,000 to bolster the unallocated balance in the sanitation fund, $150,000 for lighting along the recently completed Parkersburg Ohio River Trail, $150,000 to the demolition fund to address blighted properties and $125,000 to the Engineering Department for emergency demolition costs.

There is $75,000 allocated as a contribution to the second phase of development at the Discovery World on Market nonprofit children’s museum.

Mayor Tom Joyce said the facility, which opened in the spring of 2023, has drawn more than 50,000 visitors from 29 states and already has $289,000 committed to the effort, which involves renovation of the theater on the fourth floor of the building.

Additional funding is in the works, he said, including a potential Congressionally directed spending award from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s office.

“I just think that they’re a valued partner, and I just think that if we can help them, we should,” Joyce said.

A revision in the Police Department budget would move $225,000 from the patrolman salary line item – money that has not or will not be spent due to vacant positions – to the overtime line.

The resolution was passed on to council, as presented, on a 5-0 vote.

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