UPDATE: Parkersburg council votes to remove floodwall-maintenance fee

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Parkersburg City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday night that removes a floodwall-maintenance fee.

The amendment, approved by a 5-4 vote, will eliminate the fee in January.

Councilwoman Sharon Kuhl was among those who thought that the elimination of the fee was unnecessary and pushed for the council to read a report done on the floodwall by the Corps of Engineers before deciding to eliminate the fee.

It was a contentious Parkersburg City Council meeting Tuesday night as members debated doing away with a floodwall-maintenance fee paid by some residents.

Council members also discussed user fees, insurance premiums and "giving the taxpayer a break."

The discussion of the floodwall stems from a report by the Army Corps of Engineers suggesting serious million-dollar maintenance issues that must be planned in the next decade.

Council members debated whether little more than a dollar a month would be of benefit to the 3 percent of homeowners who live in the floodplain. They say 97 percent of the floodwall fee is borne by businesses in the floodpain.

Some council members also said business could be encouraged to develop in the area if the floodwall fee were eliminated.

Council will have a second reading of the ordinance at its next meeting on Nov. 27. If approved, the fee would be eliminated at the end of 2018.

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