Parkersburg mayor says 2021 was a year of progress
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - In spite of the continued challenges of this year, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce is pleased with what happened in the city in 2021.
Parkersburg has already allocated a large portion of the more than $22 million in federal Rescue Plan funds to planned projects by the city’s utility board, that are about to go out for bids.
The mayor says the main effect was in a reduction in the rate increases recently approved by city council.
“Had it not been for city council’s allocation of those ARP funds,” Mayor Joyce said this week, “that rate increase would have either been higher, or perhaps the project wouldn’t have happened at all.”
And with much of West Virginia bracing this week for heavy flooding, the mayor says recertification of the city’s floodwall-which also followed a series of maintenance projects-is something that’s a big deal.
“And the city needs to continue that investment to make sure we don’t get ourselves in a situation where, two years ago, FEMA was threatening to pull our certification because of deferred maintenance.”
The repairs don’t stop with utilities and the floodwall. Street and storm water repairs and other routine projects are planned for 2022.
And the mayor hopes attendance at events that happened this past year-although several still did not-is a sign the public wants to return to normal, even if it’s a “new normal”.
”The handful of events that did take place this year were largely well-received,’ Joyce reflected. “I think folks are ready to get back to doing stuff. I think we have to still be cautious, but for the most part, we saw some of that this year and we’ll see more of that next year.”
“Overall, I think it was a good year, and I’m looking forward to 2022 being an even better year.”
Copyright 2021 WTAP. All rights reserved.