A person referred to in last weeks “Thoughts” article came by to point-out errors contending that I misspoke about their position in the DC Public Service District saying they are not the Director (which was defined as a paid position), but instead is the Secretary, and also, is not the President of the Chamber but is the Chairperson (President being “too presumptuous”).
The conversation flowed from the corrections that needed to be made to an explanation of past actions the DC Economic Development has taken to provide housing and other development in the County, and further, to discuss current on-going efforts.
I was told that the water source built to the new DCHS was not considered for the Rt. 18 to Maxwell Ridge area because if there was a leak in the line that supplies water for the school, the tank would be drained. (I didn’t ask what was done at the old school when there was a leak.)
I tried to explain that without increased foot travel in town resulting from an increase in improved housing, e.g., another Senior Citizens Complex and low-income housing that big business such as Walmart or fast food restaurants would not locate here due to the lack of not only customers but lack of potential employees.
I was informed that West Union was not the whole of Doddridge County and that was why the water was being installed in the outlying areas of the County. I pointed out that infrastructure (including sewage) already existed in West Union along with empty store fronts and asked why would plan be made for new development to begin in other areas when the infrastructure was already in place.
We discussed the Senior Citizens organization which owns a large number of empty lots in town noting that the Senior Citizens seemed to be uninterested in building additional housing, which I verified in a subsequent call to them. This raises the question of why don’t they sell off some of their property to give opportunity to others to develop/build.
I asked, “What about the old High School” and was told that currently this was being looked into by the County.
The question arose of whether our tax dollars should be used to fund housing developments. I say no because I do not believe that our tax dollars should be in competition with private businesses.
In a roundabout way, the visitor questioned my past experience and education. This gave me a chuckle because most people aren’t aware that I was a licensed realtor and concentrated my sales on large land tracts for mostly recreational developments.
The visitor asked which should come first the chicken (development) or the egg (housing for the workers that stem from the development). I feel that the chicken (the oil and gas industry) has arrived!!! It is laying the eggs and its increased workforce has moved to hatch the chicks and live in counties to the east and west of us, which was the point of my last article.
In my mind, it is time to question obvious issues, and by issues, I don’t mean providing water and internet to areas that do not have sewer services! Development could start by developers building single family starter homes in town where infrastructure already exists. Development doesn’t necessarily mean town homes and high rises. Somebody needs to find an experienced developer and start moving forward.
I know that those of us who think of West Union/Doddridge County as “home” cringe when we think of changing it, but we are causing its demise by discouraging redevelopment meeting today’s needs.
I hope everyone has a good week ahead!