Marion Regional Development Corp. on track with reorganization efforts | Local News
FAIRMONT – If all goes according to plan, the Marion Regional Development Corp. will receive more than $ 22,000 in grants from the state of West Virginia to be used for the economic development of Marion County.
MRDC’s board of directors met on Friday to discuss the status of the grant application as well as other projects on the group’s economic development checklist.
To be approved for the state grant, which is administered through the West Virginia Certified Development Community program, MRDC must show proof of county and city financial support.
In August, MRDC received financial support from the City of Fairmont and the Marion County Commission to present to the state proof that economic development had become a local priority.
With a lump sum of $ 35,000 from the county, and the same figure divided into monthly city payments, MRDC then strove to meet the other requirements to be eligible for state funds.
In addition to proof of financial support, MRDC is required to provide information such as its legal structure, annual action plans, budget, and updated lists of sites available for development. Enrollment in professional development courses and attending a meeting of the West Virginia Economic Development Council are also required.
Once these and other hurdles have been cleared, the MRDC grant application will be complete. According to the CDC program, 50 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have received certification, and therefore funding, through this initiative.
The CDC program was established in 1992 to provide grants to counties for economic development purposes. It was organized through the joint efforts of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Economic Development Council and the West Virginia Development Office.
“The leading economic development organization in each county is eligible to submit a grant [application]Said MRDC chief executive Allen Staggers. “And the grant can award up to $ 22,727. Applications must be submitted by the end of the year. I assembled most of the parts and parts. By next week, or the first of the following week, we will have all the required documents in place and submit them.
“Once this is accomplished,” said MRDC President Nick Fantasia, “we will once again have Certified Development Community status. We will have this matching money that will go into operating funds for economic development.
Council members also discussed the next deadline for submitting a proposal to the Town of Fairmont for the development of the site of the former Sharon Steel plant. “Our proposal is for an activity park,” Fantasia said. “We would work with the owners of the property to develop it. “
There are still a few hiccups in MRDC’s work to acquire the last properties on Diamond Street that are needed for planned development there.
“We have some title issues with the property we’re buying,” Fantasia said. “But we’ll clear it up. “
Often developers find it difficult to reach property owners because the houses or land have been passed on to family members who no longer live in the area and it is difficult to locate them.
In addition to the work related to grant applications and proposals, MRDC has started its branding efforts.
“We are in the process of setting up our website,” Staggers said. “We know this is important because people need to know who we are here, how to contact us and what we have. “
“We are working with a local marketing company, Social Bee Marketing. They are going to set up the framework for the website. Katie Willard is the president of the company, and she is also the founder, ”said Staggers. “It’s located right in the city center in the WesBanco building.”