Development Authority Lists Long Term Goals
The Paden City Development Authority recently spoke about its current position in the community along with their achievements and long term goals.
President of the authority Cork Bowen and member Ken Stead said they are developing a plan that they believe will benefit not only the City of Paden City but the entire area as well. Bowen cited one big achievement when he mentioned the recent leasing of office space in the Health and Recreation center to Youth Services System Inc. Bowen said this is an example of how we can benefit the entire area and still draw business into Paden City.
Youth Services works with troubled youth ages 12-24 and it’s main office is located in Wheeling. The new satellite office in Paden City will serve the youth in Wetzel County. They recently held an open house for the public and state and local dignitaries as their grand opening. State Senator Jeff Kessler was the main speaker at the event.
Stead said they still have space available and are actively recruiting new professionals to come in to Paden City to see what there is to offer. He said the Authority is looking to purchase prime property within the city limits to possibly attack even a chain restaurant or badly needed grocery store.
Bowen was optimistic about the newest members of the board saying, “We are all on the same page, we want to see growth within our community, we have a great school system and a lot to offer, we just need to put are resources together and bring in good jobs for our people.”
He said years back we lost the Corning Plant and recently Sprouse Windows left town and we have not fully recovered from the job losses.
“However we have recently put the industrial park up for sale and have listed it with a commercial realtor in the Wheeling area in hopes of attacking business to the city that may once again provide us with those type of opportunities for our youth who want to join the workforce and have no where to turn,” said Bowen.
Bowen said oil and gas related companies have recently leased space at the industrial park but the major ones have left the area or found more suitable space in other areas. He said currently the Authority is financially running a tight budget but if they can find the right buyer for the industrial park, they will be able to do what they were intended to do and that is provide assistance to small businesses and organizations looking to start up or expand.
Stead commented he believes Paden City can once again become a place where people will want to build and buy homes to raise the families, he cited the Park and Churches as assets.
“We don’t want to just be landlords, we want to be in the business of helping others through expansion as an organization within the city. We would like to get in the position where we can offer grants and scholarships plus be an avenue of resources for people looking for work,” said Stead. He also cited a recent donation to the Labor Day event as a start of things to come.
Bowen said he felt the past administrations had been good stewards of the Development Authority’s finances. He said they are now current on their audits with the State and believed it was no fault of the past administration that they got behind. He felt they for looking for the most reasonable price to have the audit completed and by doing so missed the state deadline.
“Many improvements have been made along the way to not only the industrial park but to the H&R building as well,” Bowen said. “New commercial grade windows have been put in at the H&R building and a new roof was also added. We still have some things to do and are looking to get them done as the funds become available.”
Stead said one of his goals as far as the property is concerned is to see the H&R building made handicap accessible. Bowen said he invites anyone interested in the business of the development authority to attend their meetings which are held on the second and fourth Monday’s of the month at the Development Authority’s office at the industrial park. Bowen said they are always looking for new funds to help with improvements to the city and are actively seeking grants as they become available. Advertising and tourism are also avenues they are considering.