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Ideas presented at Wood County meeting on American Recovery Act

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 8:44 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Suggestions ranging from tourism to infrastructure enhancements were presented Wood County Commissioners Monday night, at a meeting to discuss the best uses for the $16 million the county will receive from the American Recovery Act.

Perhaps the most unusual idea of the night: a New Jersey-style boardwalk, built on top of the Parkersburg floodwall.

“What a boardwalk would bring is the opportunity for socialization and economic vitality times 100,” explained Bill Ambrose.

More directly related to COVID-19: a rebuilding of sorts of day care, aimed at parents-specifically mothers.

“If you want to get people back to work,” said Marian Clowes, “you need to look at child care, after school care, summer care, summer camps. Those are the kinds of things parents need.”

Infrastructure enhancements, particularly broadband, were mentioned. One resident wanted to know how much the money earmarked for local governments would wind up costing taxpayers.

“I’m still paying on a water project that was completed, and my bill hasn’t come down yet,” said Marie Krinock. “I want to know how we’re going to be affected.”

Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Pat Lefebure said there are limits as to how the money could be spent. He noted the county doesn’t want to commit to a project, only to find out it isn’t allowed. The county has hired a law firm to determine a project’s legality.

He added, however, some limits are changing.

“It has also been approved for premium pay for essential workers-your fire, your law enforcement, your EMS, your health care workers,” Lefebure told the audience.

County commissioners noted more public meetings could be on the way-and people not wanting to appear in person could submit comments at the county’s website:

woodcountywv.com.

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