By: Jennifer Britt
Guest speaker Kaycie Stushek of WV Community Development HUB spoke with Parsons CitybCouncil members via ZOOM about the Downtown Appalachia: Revitalizing Recreational Economics (DARRE) Program. Essentially what the three year program is designed for is the deliberate and concentrated approach to supporting the development and revitalization of historic down towns. DARRE supports economic development in eight WV communities surrounding the Monongahela National Forest. DARRE has been working with the City of Parsons through The Mon Forest Towns Partnership since October of 2021 and will continue to do so until October of 2024.
DARRE will assist Parsons in getting to know its downtown assets while enhancing business support, goals and opportunities. DARRE helps identify building redevelopment opportunities and connect those opportunities for the technical support needed. Technical support includes but is not limited to financial, broadband, and business design. After facilitating pre-development activities and assessments DARRE will showcase high potential projects for development considerations. DARRE is a partnership between the WV Northern Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC), Woodlands Development & Lending, Partner Community Capital (formerly Natural Capital Investment), and the WV Community Development Hub. Past programs have included the HUBCAP and Blueprint projects. Janet Preston, Assistant Director from Woodlands Development Group, was present via ZOOM and stated: “I think you are very lucky to participate.” in this program.
As much of the downtown buildings now house businesses the goal is to fill the remaining empty ones and bring in new business tailored to the community.
Councilman Timothy Auvil reported the Pulp Mill Bottom Pond Restoration Project is continuing to be closer to completion. The completion of the grubbing removal process is near finished, leaving only to the removal of trees by April 13. Auvil is working with Tygart Valley Soil District in trying to use a hydro-seeder to seed the area. A ditch line will have to be dug away from the river to help with overflow and flooding. A batch of trees will have to be cleared out along the trail and the beach area cleared out as well. Afterwards a well can be added to the property at the cost of $11,000.
The Police Office has received six applications for the Code Enforcer Officer and will start the process of interviews in the upcoming week. The code enforcer officer ensures that the businesses and people are in compliance with public health, safety, public works, consumer protection, business activities, building standards, municipal affairs, and more. In short, code enforcement protects the community by regulating entities that are breaking laws and city ordinances.
The Code Adoption Ordinance had the third and final reading. A motion to approve was accepted and motion was granted. Upon adoption, the ordinance will become effective and enforceable on March 1, 2022. A copy of the Code of Ordinances can be found in the Office of the Clerk.
The next City Council Meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building, 341 Second Street, Parsons. If you would like an item placed on the agenda, contact the Parsons Business Office at (304) 478-2311.