By Kyle Lovern
The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority received updates on various projects during its regular meeting Aug. 21 at the authority’s offices in East Williamson.
Executive Director Steve Kominar and Assistant Director Leasha Johnson, along with board members Andy Dillon, Dr. Dino Beckett and Terry Sammons were present, while Robert “Doc” Foglesong and Sarah Smith were in attendance via telephone.
Kominar gave the board an update on several of the MCRA’s ventures.
First was new information on the Wood Products Industrial Park near Holden.
He said Unilin Flooring still had two shifts working and has considered adding a third shift.
Ground has been broken and construction started for the new National Guard Armory at the mountaintop location, which will merge operations of the Williamson and Logan armories.
Kominar said he had a potential new client interested in locating at the site. He could not reveal the client or type of business, but he said if they did locate in Mingo County it would create several jobs. He should know something in the near future after that company has its board meeting, he said.
Beckett gave the authority an update on the Williamson Health and Wellness grant and medical office. Dr. Leo Pajarillo, a longtime local pediatrician, has been hired. The medical office will employ as many as 14 individuals.
The authority continues to work toward several agricultural products. One is the Growing Warriors Project that works with veterans.
Another is the Appalachian Spring Lettuce and Herb Farm that wants to start a location in the area. Kominar has shown them a couple of potential sites that could be used. He said they produce about 13 cuts per year.
In the energy field, the MCRA has worked with the Integrated Energy Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy on a grant for Solar Pathways.
There was no update on the Coal to Liquid plant.
Other updates given to the board of directors were on the Buffalo Mountain section of the King Coal Highway.
A public hearing will be held in Charleston on the sale of Williamson Memorial Hospital at the Civic Center on Sept. 12. Kominar encouraged individuals to attend this public forum.
He also congratulated the Ambassador Christian School on opening their new location at the old Williamson Middle School site. This is a merger of Regional Christian and Williamson Christian schools.
Johnson updated the group on the Appalachian Leadership Academy interns who will be working with the MCRA.
Kominar briefed the organization on the Coalfield Development Corporation that will be locating in Mingo County. That group has hired a four-man crew and will have one supervisor. They will start working in the area soon and will be looking for office space in the area.
The MCRA has also been invited to an International Manufacturing Trade Show in Chicago.
Johnson also announced that WVU President Gordon Gee will visit Mingo County on Oct. 4.
Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor of the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277, or on Twitter @KyleLovern.