The Community Development Block Grant provides funding for critical public services, which includes assistance to the City’s Community Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) Program. This program has operated since 1996 and was continued again in 2017. It is the mission of the Community Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) Unit to work with all citizens to preserve life, protect property, and promote individual responsibility and community commitment. Our COPE Officer can be seen attending Neighborhood Watch meetings, addiction support groups, as well as numerous youth events throughout different neighborhoods. Funds are also used to support expenses related to neighborhood bike patrols. In 2017, the City of Parkersburg allocated $75,000 for this important program.
The Down Payment Assistance Program provides assistance to residents of Wood County of up to $10,000 to help with the required down payment and closing costs of a first time home purchase. During the City’s first six months of offering the program, there have been over thirty inquiries, with four loans closed on up to $10,000 each processed for first-time home buyers. Three more applicants are in the final stages of closing on their home. This program is made possible through the Parkesburg/Wood County HOME Consortium funding.
The 38 unit apartment building celebrated its grand opening on October 17, 2015.
Worthington Creek Apartments is a pet-friendly community of two bedroom apartment homes designed exclusively for residents 55 and over. All homes feature modern amenities you would expect to find in a luxury home at a comfortable price
Through the Parkersburg-Wood County HOME Consortium, the City was able to leverage more than $6 million in private investment with $100,000 in financial assistance. Worthington Creek Apartments was developed by the Miller-Valentine Group in Cincinnati, OH.
The Community Development Block Grant program can provide assistance to local businesses that retain and/or create jobs in the community. One successful partnership was the new Marriott Townplace Suites in downtown Parkersburg. Working with Uptown Lodging, the City used $200,000 in CDBG funds to leverage more than $7 million in private investment for the renovation of the old Uptowner Hotel. What was once a vacant building for more than 20 years now positively contributes to the redevelopment of downtown Parkersburg. Furthermore, the new 80 room, all-suite hotel has created 18 full-time positions, all of which have positively improved the economic situation for low and moderate income individuals. The Marriott Townplace Suites officially opened its doors on May 30, 2017.
The Community Development Block Grant provides funding for critical public services, which includes assistance to the City’s CODE Enforcement Division. The mission of the Code Enforcement Division is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our community by encouraging compliance with the Codified Ordinances of Parkersburg and International Codes; to enhance the appearance of neighborhoods and business districts to prevent blight, protect property values and enhance economic conditions. This level of service would not be possible without CDBG funding. CDBG funding allocated $49,000 for one Code Enforcement Officer in FY17. Since July 1, 2017 this officer has reported 295 incident reports, which includes items like junk vehicles, tall grass, and minimum housing requirements.
Minor Home Repair Program
The MHRP seeks to provide homeowners who may not normally qualify for a traditional home equity loan with an earned grant to make needed improvements to their home to bring it closer to state and local building codes. In 2017, the MHRP provided improvements to 16 low-income homeowners. Projects ranged in costs from $4,270 to $16,600. A total of $140,921 has been invested to both help homeowners stay in their residence and revitalize our economically distressed neighborhoods. The program is made possible through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program.
“I remember feeling extremely blessed or maybe just lucky … Grogg’s just finished installing a complete modern and very efficient central HVAC system in my home and it is undoubtedly because of this (Minor Home Repair) Program.”
– Quote from Homeowner
On March 27th, Mayor Joyce proclaimed April 2nd thru April 6th as National Community Development Week to celebrate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As such, the City will be posting a series of small articles on successful projects that utilized these funding sources. Today’s post will feature Riverfront (Point) Park, an $11 million public facility improvement project that continues to help rejuvenate downtown Parkersburg.
Located at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers, Point Park is a natural gathering place and source of pride in the community. It is also a site rich in history, given the City’s industrial heritage. While discussions to improve the park started in the late 1990s, the $11 million renovation project was not completed until 2011. A major source of gap financing for the project was made possible through a Section 108 Loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The City was able to secure $2.1 million in loans funds, because is pledged (leveraged) funds from the City’s Community Development Block Grant Program. As a result, the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers was able to substantially enlarge the City’s waterfront (park land), install a new 750 seat amphitheater, restroom facilities, landscaping and promenade for boaters to tie up their vessels. This includes the Island Bell Sternwheeler, which transports between 23,000 to 26,000 visitors annually from downtown Parkersburg to Blennerhassett Island.
Point Park is also home to the Point Park Concert Series, hosted by Downtown PKB. This is a free-admission concert series that draws thousands of visitors to the water’s edge between June and September. For more information about this year’s lineup for the concert series, please click here.
The City of Parkersburg is pleased to welcome the State of West Virginia’s annual Thespian/Drama conference to our community. More than 500 students and teachers are expected to be in attendance. The conference kicks off today at 11 a.m. with opening ceremonies at the Smoot Theatre. Activities will continue the rest of the day and into Friday and Saturday at various venues in downtown Parkersburg. They include the Smoot Theatre, the Parkersburg Art Center, The Blennerhassett Hotel and the Actors Guild of Parkersburg. Closing ceremonies will be held on Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. at the Smoot Theatre.
We hope you enjoy your visit in Parkersburg and have a great conference!
The City of Parkersburg’s Development Department is now accepting applications for the 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) HOME Programs. These Federally-funded programs are administered by the City of Parkersburg, and throughout Wood County to provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and the expansion of economic opportunities primarily for families and individuals with low and moderate incomes.
To be considered for funding, all applications and any supplemental materials must be submitted to the Development Department no later than 4:00pm, March 30, 2018.
For more information or to download an application, please visit; http://parkersburgcity.com/pc/services-2/planning-development/reports/
Tonight’s live stream of the City Council meeting will begin 5-10 minutes prior to 7:30PM on the City’s YouTube channel.