Newell: Homecoming overtime costs city $23,600

PARKERSBURG – City employees put in more than 600 hours of overtime during Parkersburg Homecoming weekend.

Mayor Bob Newell said employees from all city departments – which includes police, fire, sanitation, streets and all buildings and grounds positions – logged 621 hours of overtime during the three-day homecoming event last weekend.

The total overtime pay, without benefits included, comes to $23,600.

“That is the actual hourly total cost of them working,” Newell said.

The city’s total costs for homecoming are closer to $50,000, he said. The city pays additional dumping fees at the landfill, has electricians prepare wiring for the downtown vendors and shows in the weeks prior to homecoming, and during the News and Sentinel Half Marathon allows motorists to use the Memorial Bridge for free.

Newell said the city also contributes $10,000 each to the marathon and the Parkersburg Homecoming Committee respectively.

“At the end of the day it costs us around $50,000,” he said.

But Newell added homecoming is one of the best-attended downtown events in Parkersburg, bringing thousands of people to the city and gaining Parkersburg state and even national recognition. The marathon draws people from around the world, while the concert events draw people from not only West Virginia but other states as well.

This year the city was briefly featured on the national news, with NBC’s “Today” showcasing the event Aug. 18 as a spotlight city.

“It was on there briefly, about a 15 second spot, but it was on there,” Newell said.

Newell said in recent years city officials as well as community and tourism groups have worked hard to raise the profile of Parkersburg and the downtown area in particular.

“I’m positive homecoming brings more people to Parkersburg than any of the other events, with the possible exception of the Fourth of July fireworks,” he said. “It is worth the cost to get all of these people into downtown. We are trying to make Parkersburg the place people want to come to.”