BDC gets continuing backing of city

WEIRTON – Weirton City Council, on Nov. 9, agreed to continue supporting the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, providing $25,000 toward the development agency's operations. Prior to the 7-0 approval, BDC Executive Director Pat Ford updated council on some of the activities the organization has been focused on in Weirton. “There are a lot of activities in the city of Weirton,” Ford said. Among the various projects in recent years has been continuing development of the Three Springs Business Park, including efforts to bring an operation from Pietro Fiorentini to Weirton. Negotiations are close to being completed, Ford noted, at which point the company will move forward with planning and construction. “That closing is scheduled for the first week of December,” Ford said. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority approved the sale of 17 acres of the business park to the Italian manufacturer of valves and other equipment used in the natural gas industry in February 2014. In the last year, the BDC also has been working on a new expansion to rue21, a new facility for Brownlee Trucking and a new location for Barney's Bakery in the business park. The BDC also is assisting the new owner of Williams Golf and Country Club with a remediation project to remove asbestos from the Lodge house and an abandoned underground petroleum tank near the property's old swimming pool. “It's very contained,” Ford said. “It's not leeching out into the community.” Three delapidated houses have been demolished in the city through a new program launched by the BDC. One of those sites is to be used by the Weirton Christian Center for a community garden. Upkeep on the second site has been taken over by a neighbor, and officials are still working to find a use for the third. The BDC was involved in the relocation and expansion of Domino's on Pennsylvania Avenue, and continues working with a battery recycling company to remediate the former Jimmy Carey Stadium in order to build a new facility. In addition to providing the $25,000 annual contribution, the city of Weirton is represented on the BDC's board by Mayor Harold Miller and Ward 5 Councilman Douglas Jackson, with additional support from City Manager Travis Blosser. “Your participation in our board activity has been very strong,” Ford said. “We have a lot of plans scheduled for 2016.”  – See more at: