UPDATE: Wood County Commission discusses TIF for Grand Central Mall

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VIENNA, W. Va. (WTAP) - Update: 4/15/2019

The Wood County Commission discusses a tax incentive plan for Grand Central Mall, approved April 11 by Vienna City Council.

The concern to Wood County is the potential loss of property tax revenue. But it's believed any loss would be small.

"The only person that takes a hit is Wood County," says Commission President Blair Couch, "and I'm saying that might be $20-30,000. That's not a significant hit. If it were a $30-40 million bond, it could have been more. But it probably would have been more based on the length of time."

The commission also discussed with the county's compliance officer a problem with a trailer parked in a right of way on Grandview Street in Parkersburg.

It agreed to ask the trailer's owner to speak with the commission in 30 days.

And the commission approved two resolutions, partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau and the state of West Virginia on the upcoming 20202 Census.

One of the resolutions calls for forming a local committee to work with federal and state officials for an accurate population count.

The bureau is reaching out to local leaders and organizations for people to serve on the committee.


4/11/2019

Vienna City Council unanimously votes yes to start a TIF with the Grand Central Mall.

TIF stands for tax increment financing. It's typically used to divert future property tax revenue increases from a defined area or district toward an economic development project or public improvement project in the community. The mall is adding four new stores. It's a 25 million dollar project.

The mayor says it's a win-win opportunity for the city. The TIF would be for 2.8 million dollars. No bonds would be issued.

The next step would be a TIF agreement is drawn up. Then, there would be a public hearing. Mayor Randy Rapp says it's the first step in what is going to be a months-long process.

The mayor says there is no financial risk for the city to sponsor the TIF district. All the cost will be covered by Washinton Prime. That's the company that owns the mall.


Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp discusses the planned demolition of Sears at the Grand Central Mall, and the mall's new redevelopment plans for that site.

As announced earlier this week by the mall's owner, Washington Prime Group Incorporated, the Sears site will be redeveloped into a “hybrid town center”.

Mayor Rapp says he is encouraged by the news and thinks it will bring in some new and exciting stores into the region.

Along with this redevelopment, current projects are underway around Vienna, bringing stores such as Hobby Lobby and Big Lots to the city.