PARKERSBURG - Members of city council's Finance Committee got a presentation from a second company seeking to do a retail-market study.
The Retail Coach, a Texas-based company, pitched its product for more than an hour Tuesday night to members of city council and some officials.
City officials are seeking approval from council to conduct a retail-market study of the area, with the hope of attracting new retailers and new development.
Photo by Jody Murphy
City officials listen to Kelly Cofer, founder of The Retail Coach, Tuesday evening. Cofer gave officials an hour-long presentation on his company and its research.
Mayor Bob Newell is asking council to allocate money from capital reserve to fund the study.
Last week council members got a pitch from the Buxton company, whose 60-day study would cost $70,000. The Retail Coach study would cost the city about $54,000.
Wood County Economic Development Authority has committed $10,000 and the city can use $10,000 in CDBG funds for the study.
Newell said the studies offer different services. And he was interested in both.
Kelly Cofer, company founder, spent the day in and around Parkersburg Tuesday looking at things specific to Parkersburg. He gave officials an hour-long presentation on his company and its research. He also field several questions.
Cofer said his company doesn't just look for development opportunities; it also seeks redevelopment opportunities.
Newell is more focused on development. The mayor wants to prevent area shoppers from leaving the area to make purchases. Newell said the city has no interest in competing with Vienna.
"I want to find out why people are leaving here," he said. "I want something that is not competing with what we already have. We are trying to keep people from leaving here to buy things they can't find here."
Newell and Keith Burdette, president of the Wood County Economic Development Authority, also stressed the study, if approved and when completed, would be available to developers and retailers either in the city or seeking to build within the city.
"It is the city's study," Burdette said.
Newell said city officials will need to look at the two companies, check references and make phone calls before proceeding. The mayor wants to get something in front of council for the Nov. 24 meeting.
Newell said council can make the money available for the study and then decide how to perform the study.
Committee members took no action. Council member Brad Kimes, who chaired the meeting, wants to move quickly, but cautiously.
"We are going to digest what we heard," he said after the meeting. "I want to move forward quickly, but I want to make a decision that is best for Parkersburg."