Marshall County Moves Forward With $33,000 Housing Assessment | News, Sports, Jobs

Marshall County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel, left, addresses the county commission regarding a housing needs assessment. Also pictured are County Commissioners, left to right, John Gruzinskas, Mike Ferro and Scott Varner.

MOUNDSVILLE — A months-long study of housing needs in Marshall County is expected to identify what current and potential residents are looking for.

At last week’s Marshall County Commission meeting, commissioners approved a six- to seven-month assessment of the county’s housing needs. The submission for the evaluation was awarded to Bowen National Research at a cost of $33,000. Another offer was submitted by Thomas P. Miller and Associates.

Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said the assessment will identify housing needs in the county, such as the potential need for a new subdivision or low-income housing. The decision to pursue housing assessment arose from internal discussions among commissioners regarding available housing, as well as a relative lack of single-family housing developments in recent years, Frohnapfel said.

From these discussions, the commissioners sought an outside perspective.

“We all think we know what we need, but honestly it’s all based on our personal bubbles, so we decided to take a step back,” Frohnapfel said. “Before we start approaching developers, let’s find out what our needs really are.

“What we’re hoping to get is data showing everything from low-income housing, to high-end single-family housing, to seniors’ residences, to high-end single-person communities, to middle-income things, …depending on what we have now. ”

Data collected on the needs of county municipalities will be fed directly to local leaders, Frohnapfel said, while the county commission will focus on county needs outside of city limits. The information collected will be forwarded to the Regional Economic Development Partnership and then to the proponents.

“Once we have obtained the needs of unincorporated rural areas, we will take the next step, work with the same company to highlight areas where this might be possible,” she continued. . “The Marshall County Commission doesn’t think housing is something the county government should be involved in developing, but collecting data for county needs is definitely something they should be involved in. involved, so this is where evaluation comes in.

“Once we have the needs assessment, after we have very basic preliminary studies of potential locations, we will work with the Regional Economic Development Partnership to reach out to property developers. …I don’t know if we’ll see construction in a few years, but hopefully we’ll have all of our background research and information to present to the development companies to come and take a serious look at the area.

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