Looking Ahead

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Four new members will take their seats, as Parkersburg City Council holds its first meeting of 2013.

They will hear Mayor Bob Newell outline his goals for both the year to come, and his next term.

At the top of that list is economic development, especially in the East 7th Street part of town, where several automobile dealers have recently renovated and expanded their businesses.

His hope is to make it as easy as possible for other businesses to locate there.

"There's interest in a lot of property out there, so our plan is to be business-friendly; to help businesses out there build new facilities," the mayor says. "We may even help the car dealers out there do more expansions. There's more of that coming, as I understand it."

The mayor adds an incentive plan approved last year by council has resulted in some interest in vacant buildings in the downtown area.

City council will also be called up to confirm several of the mayor's department heads.

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