Site Success May Spur Aid

Written by Linda Harris, The Intelligencer/ Wheeling News-Register, August 20, 2013 on . Posted in Media, News

Local leaders have parlayed redevelopment of the Taylor, Smith and Taylor pottery property into an opportunity to do something similar at another northern Hancock County site, this time with technical assistance from the state as part of the “Communities of Achievement” program.

“The goal here is to find another site in northern Hancock County where we can build off the momentum generated by the Taylor, Smith and Taylor project and identify a project, remediate that site if necessary and prepare it for future economic development,” said Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. “It’s not supposed to be directly related to Taylor, Smith and Taylor, but a requirement of the program is that you have to identify a project in the vicinity of a recent successful project.”

“Communities of Achievement” is a West Virginia Community Development HUB program. The designation, awarded to Chester, means a 10-member steering committee will get whatever technical assistance it needs to identify workable projects in northern Hancock County as well as whatever specialized coaching is needed to complete one of them.

The program is funded by state and federal grants and also the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

HUB Executive Director Kent Spellman said the designation is a 16-18 month process.

Read the full story at the Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

Brownfields Renewal: West Virginia Conference Pulls in Bright Minds of Tomorrow

Written by The San Diego Source, Brownfields Renewal on . Posted in Events, Media, News

The West Virginia Brownfields Conference was held in Morgantown in mid-September for a legitimate reason: proximity to higher learning. The conference moves to different areas of the state each year. Having the 8th Annual Conference in Morgantown provided local communities, development professionals and service providers ample networking opportunities.
“What happens when we have it in Morgantown, we actually get to attract some different university professors we’ve been collaborating with, we’ve had some students come, also we pull some from the Pittsburgh market,” said Patrick Kirby, the director of the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center. “From developers, with the steel towns in the northern part of the state, and the eastern part of the state. As well as some orchards and other former and industrial stuff out there.”
The conference featured a number of topics, including building demolition and environmental threats. Federal Agencies will also discuss upcoming plans, like the new initiatives brought up by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Marshall announces hydroelectric demonstration, education project

Written by The State Journal, June 18, 2013 on . Posted in Media, News

HUNTINGTON – A new Marshall University energy project will demonstrate hydroelectric power using acid mine drainage from coal mining as its source of energy.

Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences and the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University have announced the installation of a hydro generator to be used as a demonstration and education project in the Morris Creek Watershed near Montgomery.

Installed in conjunction with the Morris Creek Watershed Association, the hydro generator is using acid mine drainage discharge as its water source. It is the latest in a series of projects the university is conducting in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Energy’s Office of Coalfield Community Development to demonstrate renewable energy applications on former surface-mined properties.

 Read the full story at The State Journal


Wellsburg pursues development plan

Written by Warren Scott, Weirton Daily Times, August 20, 2013 on . Posted in Media, News

 WELLSBURG – Wellsburg officials want to replace unused former industrial sites with new businesses and remove dilapidated structures that create a hazard or eyesore.

And their first step in doing that is to establish a comprehensive plan for development.

“We need a blueprint – what the citizens think the city should be – moving forward,” City Manager Mark Henne told members of the city’s planning commission Monday.

Jared Anderson, an attorney and professor with the West Virginia University Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic, told the group a comprehensive plan not only helps cities and counties to prioritize improvements and measures needed to support various types of development.

Anderson noted cities and counties with zoning also are required under state law to adopt a comprehensive plan by June 2014.

Henne said the law clinic was recruited to assist the city in developing a plan because federal money enables it to offer free services as a consultant.

Anderson said the clinic is working with about 15 counties and cities to develop plans through the efforts of its staff and about a dozen second- and third-year law students at the university.

He said two law students have been assigned to assist him in working with Wellsburg and will attend future meetings. He said the plan shouldn’t be confused with zoning as it doesn’t limit use of land, including private development.

But it does identify potential areas for development while including elements supporting that, such as infrastructure, housing and financing, Anderson noted.

Read the full story at the Weirton Daily Times