Council moves toward purchase

PARKERSBURG – City Council took the first step of a property purchase near the East Street Bridge.

Council voted 8-0 Tuesday evening, with Councilman Mike Reynolds absent, to approve the first reading of an ordinance authorizing purchase of two tracts of property at East Street and Camden Avenue, adjacent to the city’s Service Center. The $10,000 purchase would be made using coal severance funds.

The motion passed without discussion, but Mayor Bob Newell said last week the property was needed to improve access to and the appearance of the city’s service center.

Council also approved three resolutions, each with an 8-0 vote. One resolution authorized the city to enter into an agreement with the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board of Directors to construct and manage a short-term parking lot at Seventh and Juliana streets.

Councilwoman Kim Coram pointed out the resolution presented Tuesday differed from a resolution approved last month by the city’s Public Works committee. That resolution specified one car space to be turned into covered bicycle parking and for benches and bioswales to be built into the lot.

Newell said those elements would be included in building plans, but were not needed for the resolution. Coram made a motion to amend the resolution to include those items, which passed 7-1 with Councilman Roger Brown voting against.

All eight council members then approved the amended resolution.

The two other resolutions approved Tuesday included acceptance of a $9,000 grant to be used at the Parkersburg Art Center to upgrade ventilation and rehab the men’s room, with ten percent of the cost to be covered by the center, and a end-of-year revision of the 2012-13 budget to be sent to the state.