UPDATE: Vienna, Parkersburg Mayors Work Towards Home Rule

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UPDATE 6/17/2014 5:10 PM

Two local mayors work together this summer, trying to bring home rule to Parkersburg and Vienna.

Mayors Bob Newell and Randy Rapp will be in Wheeling this August, presenting their case to join the state's home rule pilot program.

The program would allow Parkersburg and Vienna to become more self-governing, giving the mayor's office and commissioners authority to apply state laws more appropriately to our region.

Mayors Newell and Rapp say home rule would cut taxes here at home.

"What we need is different from what Charleston needs and Huntington needs and Wheeling needs," says Mayor Newell. "That's the whole point of home rule. It allows cities to structure fees and taxes based on what their needs are."

"it offers so many opportunities for smaller communities like us to make the rules for what's in our area," says Mayor Rapp.

Twenty-one other West Virginia cities are applying for home rule

Sixteen will be selected for the pilot program.

The Wheeling regional meeting is August 11th.

UPDATE 5/23/2014 5:00 PM

Sick of cracked sidewalks?

The City of Vienna may be able to start fixing them.

City council voted in favor of home rule Thursday.

That means the city gets to act a little more like a state, but residents might see a one cent sales tax hike.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp says the extra penny will go a long way.

"It's a great thing. it allows us to streamline the city processes that we use. With the money that's generated from that original fee, we'll have extra funds where we can do a lot of road improvements, we can do a lot of the infrastructure things that we just don't have the funds for a city our size," he says.

Four West Virginia cities already have home rule.

Now it's up to the state to approve Vienna too.

One June 1 the state considers adding 16 more cities, including Vienna and Parkersburg.

Vienna City Council members Thursday night were given a list of priorities as the city makes its own application to West Virginia for home rule status.

Mayor Randy Rapp said the city intends to seek a one percent sales tax, while reducing or eliminating its business and occupation taxes.

That's similar to a proposal being considered by Parkersburg City Council.

The mayor, however, could not say how much revenue a one percent sales tax could raise.

Other proposals include care of properties not up to Vienna city code, and disposal of city property by sealed bid sales instead of at public auction.

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