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On Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Executive Board Members of the West Virginia Municipal League (WVML) continued their tour of North Central West Virginia to the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in Clarksburg. The WVML Executive Board Members are currently on tour looking at the successes of the Home Rule Program throughout the state. The way the Home Rule legislation is currently written, it is scheduled to be sunset in June of 2019, unless further legislative action is taken to continue the program. It is vital that the Home Rule Program continues on, as it is imperative to existing Home Rule cities and holds great potential for other cities that can be involved in the future.
The Robinson Grand is just one of the city’s major successes due to the implementation of the 1% Sales and Use Tax through Home Rule. The implementation of the 1% Sales and Use Tax not only benefited the community through the revitalization of the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center, but also for infrastructure improvements. Some of the major infrastructure improvements included the Sycamore Street bridge replacement and Lowndes Hill road replacement project along with funding for multiple slip repairs throughout the city. The largest portion of the Sales and Use Tax includes $1 million investment per years invested in the Police and Fire Pension Funds
The tour of the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center was given by Clarksburg City Manager Martin Howe, Clarksburg Mayor Cathy Goings, and Vice Mayor Jim Malfregeot. Various other city officials including Assistant City Manager Anthony Bellotte and Finance Director Kim Karakiozis were present to answer questions from the Municipal League Executive Board.These Board Members who are representing other municipalities were impressed with the newly restored theater, and gave their approval by expressing their interests in learning the steps the City of Clarksburg took to bring the theater back to life.
WVML Board Members present were Board President Steve Williams (Mayor of Huntington), Vice President Serafino Nolletti (Mayor of Logan), Secretary Kevin Knowles (Martinsburg Councilor), Treasurer Chris Tatum (Barboursville Mayor), Executive Director Lisa Dooley and Deputy Executive Director Travis Blosser.
For more on the West Virginia Municipal League visit https://www.wvml.org/