Northern panhandle leaders to attend BAD Summit

Northern panhandle leaders to attend BAD Summit Updated: Monday, September 29 2014, 05:57 PM EDT It’s an issue that plagues many communities across West Virginia — blighted properties. A few municipalities in Brooke and Hancock counties will soon have a new way to tackle the issue. New Cumberland was chosen to be one of 12 communities to participate in West Virginia BAD (blighted, abandoned and dilapidated) Buildings Summit in Huntington. The program provides cutting edge tools and resources for West Virginia communities to use toward addressing problem properties. A team made up of northern panhandle community leaders will participate in the program from Oct. 7-9. “With Mayor Linda McNeil leading the charge from New Cumberland, she's really garnered some support and some interest from other mayors in the northern panhandle,” said Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle. McNeil, Beech Bottom Mayor Becky Uhlly, Mayor of Weirton George Kondik, Chester Mayor Larry Forsythe and Ford are some of the people on board with tackling the issue with the BAD Buildings program. “To have such a strong delegation of people going to this summit in Huntington is just great news to see the collaboration of that area of this whole region to try and address this issue,” Ford said. Ford says these cities generally lack the resources to adequately address this issue, so this conference will help them discuss how to turn a problem property and redevelop it into a high-value site.  “To be able to sit at a table with other cities that have already gone through this program and to hear about their success stories, to hear what tools they've been using, those are rare opportunities that you get,” Ford said. 

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