Moundsville Officials Eyeing Construction of New City Building

Moundsville’s city building is looking to expand to fill its parking lot, bringing together the fire and police departments under one roof.

MOUNDSVILLE — Moundsville’s city leaders are working toward a major upgrade to their city hall, expanding it to accommodate departments in a new and modern building.

City Manager Rick Healy said construction on the new building could begin as soon as 2020, and would bring the city’s offices, police and fire departments into the 21st century. Healy said parts of the current city building date back to the 1800s, and with major renovations necessary to the police department’s building, city leaders were looking to integrate into one large building.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Healy said, “It’s not for us today, we’re building it for the next group of city councils, managers, firemen, policemen. We want to do it so it can be utilized down the road without worrying about expansion.”

The building, Healy said, would occupy much of the area of the current parking lot, and during the last parts of construction, the city offices would be moved in to the new building, while the current one is demolished.

“The police department’s got problems,” Healy said. “The estimated cost to repair it is half a million dollars, which seems crazy, and that’s just for the brick problems around the parapet and all that, so council said we’re not gonna do that. … Chief (Tom) Mitchell looked at some places around town, and we started thinking about what we have here. … We’re out of space here, it’s tough to do technology here because everything has to be wire-molded because of the walls, and it’s just time.”

A preliminary architectural assessment was done by the Bridgeport, W.Va.-based firm The Thrasher Group, which was critiqued by the department heads, Healy and city clerk Sondra Hewitt, and revised. A cost estimate provided by The Thrasher Group placed costs at $5.4 million, which Healy rounded up to $6 million due to a predicted rise in construction costs.

Healy said a representative from United Bank gave a consultation to the city on options to fund the project, which include the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program.

Healy also said the council would discuss the possibility of allocating 30% of the city’s one-percent sales tax to this purpose.

“If we get our architect hired by October, November, we could target that to have someone selected, and I would love to think we could have construction by 2020. … I think it’s feasible that we could start by next year. It’s exciting.”

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