Funding for splash park, apartment building approved

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Update 9/12/2017 9:30 P.M.

Parkersburg City Council Tuesday night moved ahead on two projects, but final passage on another issue will have to wait one more meeting.

Council approved measures providing $750,000 in matching funds for construction of a splash park at Parkersburg City Park's swimming pool.

It also approved $100,000 toward construction of an apartment building for senior citizens on Rayon Drive.

The splash park, however, drew criticism from people questioning city money being set aside for the project.

"An aquatic park would be nice, but it's only three months out of the year," said resident and former councilwoman Nancy Wilcox. "And we need more important things in this city."

"We can do things to attract people to our parks, and bring them in, or we can do nothing and keep losing money," noted District 6 Councilman Mike Reynolds. "I think this is something we will eventually break even on."

At least part of the money for the project could come from the city's carryover of funds from the previous fiscal year. Councilmembers, however, said the final amount of that carryover hasn't yet been determined.

Council approved changes recommended by its finance committee to a proposed outdoor dining ordinance.

The changes include expanding the area of downtown sidewalks to accommodate pedestrian traffic.

The changes, which council approved Tuesday night, mean the measure requires one more reading before council gives it final passage.

On a future matter, City Council's Public Works Committee Tuesday afternoon sent on to the full council regulations for the use of fireworks by city residents.

Committee Chairwoman Sharon Kuhl says the regulations restrict use of fireworks to days close to the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve.


UPDATE (9/5/2017 10:30 P.M.):

A splash park in the works for the city of Parkersburg is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Tuesday night, city council's finance committee approved $750,000 towards the project.

That, on top of a $250,000 private donation, puts them at the million dollar mark.

Chairman John Reed says the committee has referred the budget request to council as a whole.

If it approves it, they'll start the design phase.

Reed says it's all in effort to attract more people to the City Park Pool, which has seen a drastic decrease in attendance over the years.


When it comes to recreation, the city of Parkersburg is looking to make a "splash" at city park.

The city is in the early planning stages of building a "splash" park.

It would be located near the City Park Pool.

Development officials say no plans have been drawn up yet.

But City Council's Finance Committee next week is to discuss dedicating $750,000 to the project.

It's an effort to attract more people to the park's pool area during the summer months.

"Our pool was built many years ago, so the infrastructure is a little outdated," said Development Director Rickie Yeager. "This is our way of creating a facility that people in Parkersburg will want to enjoy and a regular basis and feel proud of."

While it might not be the same size, the splash park would have similarities to a facility located at the Marietta Aquatic Center.

Yeager says the city has studied similar parks in other West Virginia cities.

The finance committee meets Tuesday evening at 5:30 in the Parkersburg Municipal Building.

It will also consider a request for $100,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds for a senior high-rise project on Rayon Drive.



 
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