Commission discusses future uses for West Virginia Masonic Home

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) It's a century-old landmark in Wood County.

But now, the Masonic Home near the Parkersburg-Vienna line sits vacant.

It was disclosed at Monday's Wood County Commission meeting that the home has been vacant for about six months.

County officials say there are rumors about major retailers being interested in the property.

But Commission President Blair Couch-who already is part of talks about a treatment center locating at Mountwood Park-says the Masonic Home could someday be a location for a similar facility.

"I'm sure the city of Parkersburg is interested in the facility," Couch said after Monday's meeting. "But I think one of the messages we're trying to get out is we're all trying to get out is, we're all in this together. And if it is something that would help people, or employ people, maybe we should walk down that path and find out."

The Kentucky-based Addiction Recovery Center had looked at locating in the area.

But it-at least for now-has changed its mind due to problems with West Virginia Medicaid funding.

Meanwhile, Wood County began this year with four new elected officeholders.

And the commission sees that as an opportunity.

Commission members want to meet with the new officials, and incumbent officeholders, to make sure they're following the same proceedures.

And at least one of those new officials agrees with the potential unification.

"I just think it would be a whole lot cleaner for the elected officials, and we are all elected individuals individually, and it's our responsibility," Sheriff Steve Stephens told the commission Monday. "But we come to the county commission for guidance when it comes to budget issues and administrative issues. It would be nice if we were all on the same page."

The commission had hoped to have that meeting Monday. But it was postponed because a number of elected officials were unable to attend.