Voice your thoughts on Brooke project

For generations the former Brooke Glass factory stood as among the local leaders of a major industry in our area. Built in 1897, it was operated by four companies producing a variety of glass products for more than 90 years. The factory finally closed its doors in 2004, and the site has been unused since then. Now, the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle is working to redevelop the property for future use, and is looking for suggestions from area residents. A public meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Wellsburg Salvation Army Service Center, and we encourage area residents to attend and let their voices be heard. The BDC is working with the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Development Center to form a Grants and Opportunities Team, which will work to gather ideas, rehabilitate the site and eventually market it for future business development. A similar approach is being used with the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor pottery site in Chester. It is important for the community to be involved in such a project, and we hope to see many Wellsburg residents attend Thursday's meeting, get involved in the conversation and, hopefully, come up with a plan for this site. Funding for environmental assessments already are available, which will allow things to move more quickly. This could be a major enhancement for Wellsburg, Brooke County and our region, bringing in new business opportunities and jobs for our area.