Moundsville City Manager Rick Healy is correct in his assessment that $12.5 million is a “lot of money to spend — it absolutely is” — to construct a new municipal building to serve a city of just about 8,000 residents.
That’s why it’s imperative that Moundsville leaders continue to be diligent in their needs for their new municipal building — and also be realistic about their wants.
Moundsville’s current city building is nearly 100 years old. The planned 26,000 square-foot structure to replace it will bring all city offices under one roof including the police department and the fire department.
Cleveland-based PSC Cos., through its affiliate “&build,” was awarded the contract not to exceed $12.5 million.
Healy said Moundsville now will secure bond funding for the project. Council has authorized $9.5 million in construction bonds and will utilize another $3 million from the city’s capital improvement fund.
“It’s very important to know that this is going to be paid for solely by the 1% sales tax. There is no additional direct cost to the residents, no user fees or anything like that. … We’re real proud that we’re able to do that,” he said.
“I think the citizens of Moundsville deserve a new building,” Mayor Judy Hunt added. “This one is almost 100 years old, it needs a lot of repairs, and we’re running out of space and room for the personnel. It’s a very, very exciting place for me to be at this time in the city of Moundsville.”
Here’s where being realistic comes into play. Moundsville, like the rest of the Upper Ohio Valley, is going the wrong way when it comes to population and growth. We understand wanting to be prepared for the future, but does a city of 8,000 residents really need a $12.5 million municipal building — or is that just what its elected leaders want?