WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Commission voted to adopt a resolution in support of Governor Tomblin’s Hobet Industrial Site project at Wednesday’s regular commission meeting.
The proposed project will impact Mingo, Logan, Lincoln and Boone Counties.
Commissioner John Mark Hubbard opened the discussion stating, “Commissioner Hannah and I had the opportunity in meeting with the governor a week ago this past Monday along with commissioners from Lincoln, Boone, and Logan counties.”
“This has been a project of Governor Tomblin’s for a number of years but he has really fast tracked this within the past three or four months prior to his leaving of office at the end of the month of December, beginning of January. Governor Tomblin’s vision is this site, which is the old Hobet site, is where this project is envisioned to become an industrial park. He has requested that those four particular counties which were impacted on the opportunities that will be afforded because of this industrial park, that we would adopt a resolution in support of this project,” Hubbard continued.
“I am going to read this resolution. I think it is something that is vitally important to Southern West Virginia, particularly the four counties that have been mentioned because of the impact that we have seen of lost jobs particularly the coal industry,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard then read the resolution which states, “Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced his bold vision for the development of the Hobet site. He has been working to make the vision of unprecedented multi-use industrial park in Southern West Virginia a reality. This project has the potential to revitalize this region in the Mountain State be creating an opportunity for targeted economic restructuring in areas hardest hit by the downturn of the coal industry. This large scale site offers unparalleled opportunities to diverse local economies and put hard working West Virginians back to work. With approximately 12 thousand acres that includes large tracks of flat land, the site is as large as the city of Huntington and large enough to fit every major economic development project in W.Va’s recent history combined with thousands of acres left over. Across the region, there is available a labor pool of more than 400,000 workers, many of those who are highly skilled and unemployed. This is a true public/private partnership with local land owner donations and the state’s commitment to infrastructure development. It is critical to realize this site’s full potential. We owe it to the hard working West Virginians who have lost jobs through no fault of their own to do everything in our power as public officials to create new jobs and economic opportunities.”
The commission voted in favor of adopting the resolution in support of the proposed project.
However, although in support of the project, Commissioner Hannah expressed concern over current projects that have been left unfinished. “How is this going to affect Mingo County redevelopment? I am in support of this but we already have an industrial park in Mingo County that is developed but there is no road leading back to it, and no infrastructure to entice anybody. I am just wondering what kind of impact is this going to have on Mingo County… I would like to see some completion on what we have had for years here waiting for somebody to complete it.”
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)