Save the date: West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers to host annual conference Sept. 12-14 in Morgantown

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Blog, Events, News

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 2017 #WVBrownfields Conference, hosted by the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers, will take place at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown, W.Va. on Sept. 12-14.

The theme for this year’s conference is Ready, Set, Redevelop. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit, West Virginia will again host this regional event on Sept. 14.

The event kicks off on Sept. 12 with training for licensed remediation specialists, a grant writing workshop, and mobile workshops highlighting brownfields projects in Morgantown. The first full day of the conference, Sept. 13, will feature programming and sessions related to brownfield redevelopment in West Virginia. The second day, Sept. 14, will feature sessions covering regional brownfields topics impacting Central Appalachia.

This premier redevelopment event attracts over 250 stakeholders including economic development professionals, environmental professionals, real estate developers, lawyers, state and local officials, EPA and other federal officials, entrepreneurs, planners, bankers, investors, and community redevelopment professionals.

“Each year, our number of attendees has increased and this year should be no different,” said Patrick Kirby, director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University.

“As a new part of the conference, we will host a “Women in Brownfields” gathering and for the second year in a row we will have pre-conference workshops and host the Central Appalachian Regional Brownfields Summit. The opportunity to showcase the amazing work happening in West Virginia and other Central Appalachian states is something we take great pride in. The revitalization of brownfield properties is instrumental in our state and region’s future economic development.”

The conference is in its 12th year and has become a “can’t miss” event for the state’s redevelopment stakeholders. Last year, over 300 people registered for the event. The conference will feature exceptional educational programs covering all aspects of brownfields redevelopment including: deal structuring and financing, abandoned and dilapidated buildings, grant writing, media engagement, community action on brownfields, and much more.

More details including registration, sponsor and exhibitor information will be coming soon to www.wvbrownfields.org. Sign-up for our mailing list and get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

Shinnston Council moves forward with BAD buildings program

Written by Kirsten Reneau, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram on . Posted in Media, News

SHINNSTON — The city of Shinnston plans to take down another building on Pike Street as part of their BAD buildings program.

The BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) buildings is a program the city has been working on with help from the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center through West Virginia University.

City Council members unanimously granted their attorney, Trey Simmerman, permission to pursue legal action against the owner of a building that could be dangerous, Vice Mayor Pat Kovalck said, which took place at Monday’s meeting.

“We granted permission to pursue that because letters have not been returned, phone calls have not been returned, so we thought that we needed to go a different route and get this building taken care of,” Kovalck said.

Kovalck said that having this building is not only dangerous, but unfair to other residents of the area.

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Community Members Meet in Lost Creek to Discuss Rail Trail Project

Written by Austin Weiford, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram on . Posted in Media, News

LOST CREEK — The first in a series of community meetings on the future of Harrison County’s rail trails took place at the Lost Creek Community Building Tuesday evening.

The meeting, which was hosted by Harrison Rail Trails in cooperation with the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, entailed discussion and feedback among community members interested in connecting trail sections throughout the county.

After informational presentations from Anna Withrow, a Brownfield redevelopment specialist; Kent Spellman, a representative for the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition; and Diana Druga, president of Harrison Rail Trails, attendees formed groups to discuss assets of the trail section to the south of Lost Creek, as well as challenges in restoring that section and possible solutions.

Of particular note was a trestle bridge that is in need of repair or replacement.

The information gathered will be used to create a trail development plan later this year.

“I think the meeting went great,” Withrow said. “We got good feedback on general things. There are still some more details that need to be followed up on, but we have a good start.”

Withrow said development of the trail south of Lost Creek would present various challenges.

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Harrison Rail Trail to host meetings around the county to discuss completing trail system

Written by Austin Weiford, Staff Writer, The Exponent Telegram on . Posted in Media, News

CLARKSBURG — Harrison Rail Trails, in cooperation with the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, is hosting a series of community meetings around Harrison County to discuss the future of the local trail system. The meetings are a follow up to others that were held in the fall.

Anna Withrow, Brownfield redevelopment specialist, said the center is working on a connectivity plan to help bridge the gaps in the current system and connect the trails in the county with other trails that run throughout the state and beyond.

“We want to get feedback and participation from the community at these meetings,” Withrow said. “During our site recon in some of the gaps that we want to fill, there were several no trespassing signs posted by private property owners who now own the land that the trail runs through. We haven’t started any conversations, but we do anticipate some challenges there. So we want to try and open a dialogue with the community and see what steps we might be able to take to work with citizens and close these gaps.”

Harrison Rail Trails, a non-profit organization, is a member of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition, or I ‘Heart’ Trails, which is a regional trail project intended to eventually connect 48 counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York, with a trail network over 1,450 miles long.

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