Taylor County Commission hears updates about the community

TAYLOR COUNTY—The Taylor County Commission met this past Tuesday with several members of the community that all share an interest in bettering Taylor County. 

The evening meeting started with Rosemary Raschella from the Region IV Planning and Development Council (Broadband Drawdown) with an update on the study to see where the county is under served.  The study is moving right along, and the commission seemed pleased with the results thus far.

Next up was Mike Rohlay, President of the Northern Appalachian Mining Heritage Association, based out of Fairmont. Rohlay was vising the commission to see if they perhaps had any names for a representative from Taylor county to serve as a board member of the organization. 

He revealed that the Appalachian Mining Heritage Association represents the Fairmont Field which is Barbour, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties.

Rohaly handed out brochures that spotlight some of the work they do to preserve coal heritage.  They have the only museum in North Central West Virginia dedicated solely to coal mining heritage, located off of I-79 in Fairmont.

He stated reasons that Taylor County should get involved such as the sheer number of mines located the county, as well as the distinction that Taylor County, is the only one in the Fairmont Field that has never suffered a mining disaster.

The commissioners said that they would discuss it and get him some names of some potential board members.

Shaela Duckworth then took the floor to ask commissioners to help fund the Demographic and Economic Opportunity Analysis of Taylor County from Bowmen International. 

Duckworth, President of the Taylor County Economic Development Authority, said that they had contacted several companies and colleges about the conducting the feasibility study for the EDA before settling on Bowmen.

The entire cost is $21,000, and the EDA asked the commission to pay half the cost. 

“It has a lot of information in it that we think is important. It covers housing, retail, lodging, development and office,” said Duckworth of the study. 

She continued with, “This is something that we can use to invite businesses into the county.”

The commission decided that, after at least twenty years, a new study was needed and voted to fund half of the cost.

Buddy Haines and Chris Darlington then gave the commission an update on the progress at New Horizons. The gentleman informed the room that the building was coming along beautifully, and they hope will soon be ready for an open house. 

PACE Enterprises will be taking over the project to run it. 

PACE has had incredible success in helping people with disabilities obtain meaningful employment. The group agreed that organization will be wonderful addition to Taylor County and helping its citizens with disabilities.

The evening meeting wrapped up with a visit from Misty McClure of the Human Resource Development Foundation, which is a national dislocated workers grant.

McClure, as the supervisor of the Taylor County crew, was meeting with the commission to let them know that they are in Taylor County cleaning trees, trash and debris out of waterways. They have cleaned out in the Oak Grove area and by the park in Fetterman and are planning on covering much more. 

The commissioners quickly thanked McClure and her team for all of their hard work in cleaning out Taylor County waterways.

They also volunteered more contact names that would help McClure find more areas of need for her team.

The next meeting of the Taylor County Commission will be July 16, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 111 of the Taylor County Courthouse.



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