June 10, 2019

Wayne EDA Receives Brownfields Grant | The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

WAYNE — Wayne County will receive a portion of $2.4 million being channeled to West Virginia through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program, according to U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Funding will support the remediation of environmental hazards present at several properties in the state, as well as assessments to determine further sites that need to be remediated in the future to be put back into productive use.

Wayne County Economic Development Authority was one of six organizations to be awarded money, receiving $200,000 in funds to allow for the assessment of properties for future development.

Executive Director Park Ferguson said the grant was written with W.Va. 152 in mind as a target area, though the money can be used to assess any property within the county.

"Region 2 (Planning and Development Council) had a grant they received last year for large industrial properties on W.Va. 152, so we were thinking that with all the momentum behind tourism on W.Va. 152 we could highlight smaller properties that we'll conduct assessments on with redevelopment potential for tourism," Ferguson said.

He referred specifically to an area called the Wilson Creek Complex, which includes Adkins Grocery store, Wayne Lumber and the site of an old concrete facility as a starting point for property assessment.

"The idea is that we have an environmental engineer that will do tests to see what kind of environmental contaminants there are, and from there we can create a redevelopment plan, but we have to know what we're dealing with first," he said

The money awarded through the grant is designated for assessment purposes only.

Ferguson said once those assessments come in, the EDA can then go back and re-apply for cleanup funds or grant money to build and develop specific sites, and said they have 10 to 15 of those properties in mind.

Another local entity, the Coalfield Development Corp., has also received funding through the EPA in the amount of $500,000.


By:  Luke Creasy