Commission News

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Renovating the former Towne Square complex for Wood County offices will cost more than expected. The Wood County Commission was told Thursday morning by the project architect that the cost of the renovation project has increased slightly.

It's now close to $3.5 million, an increase blamed on recent rises in the cost of construction materials.

"In the last six to eight months building costs have skyrocketed," says commission president Rick Modesitt. "Steel has gone up 150 percent, plywood up 100 percent. Every building project has seemed to be going up."

The commissioners plan to award a contract Monday for the remodeling of the one-time retail mall to be used as county government office space. The remodeled complex will be known as the Donald F. Black Courthouse Annex.

Modesitt says first priority for the construction work should be given to local labor groups.

"Those people are paying for the building," Modesitt says. "They should be reaping some of the benefits from the building."

The commission Thursday morning also gave the oath of office to a new official of the county 9-1-1 center. Former Parkersburg Police and Wood County Sheriff's dispatcher Kathy Tucker was sworn in to replace Duane Jones as the center's assistant director.