Revisiting the 2004 Washington County Comprehensive Plan

When I moved back to the area and started asking what kind of plans we had going, I received quite a bit of push back from those who had planning fatigue. “We paid consultants, what a waste.” “Plans are useless, we have tons of the shelf that didn’t yield anything.” These are two statements that […]

APEG API Annual Meeting Tuesday June 25th-Reserve your tickets now

On behalf of Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG) and our partner organization, Appalachian Partnership Inc. (API), I’d like to personally invite you to our first-ever ANNUAL MEETING next month. We’ll reflect, celebrate successes, recognize partners and present the final Regional Economic Development Prosperity Plan that’s in the final stages of development. Because the region is so vast, two meetings are scheduled–one in the north […]

Strawberry Fields……What was expected vs. What we got

When you don’t take yourself seriously, why should anyone else? Some outside groups know we lack the apparatuses to enforce our own standards and in knowing this, they can get away with what Strawberry Fields is getting away with. It’s a familiar story in these parts of the country. A developer claims to be constructing […]

Development Potential Hindered by Sewer Fears

There’s no simple way to put it other than to just say it, the City of Marietta and surrounding community’s ability to help existing companies expand and to attract new business is extremely limited. Through a combination of difficult topography, floodplain issues, and general lack in infrastructure, my job as the economic development director for […]

So the number of Renters goes up as local populations drop……….so what?

Marietta Renters increase, as population drops “The trend is subject to many interpretations.” I desperately want our community to wrestle with these interpretations. There are some good and some very very bad interpretations to be made. A dialogue should be had on this issue, and yet I don’t know that there is will to do […]

More Opportunity Zone Information

I posted about this at length about 6 months ago, but recently the state has gotten more information about how to implement and monetize them. As a reminder, here is the Opportunity Zone in Washington County………………………Lots of vacant buildings around here to buy, renovate, and resell.

New school constructs are the appetizer portion

It’s exciting to attend a ground breaking of a new school, apparently around here it is also quite rare. A conversation with a few in attendance gave rise to the question, “When was the last groundbreaking for a new school construction in Washington County?” We aren’t talking renovation, or new addition on existing, but a […]

Census Figures Report Reaction

Census Figures Show Continued Slide in Population Today’s edition of the Times had a good article from Michael Kelly that speaks to relative decline in the region and the county specifically. Consider some of the data presented. Data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that Washington County’s gradual population loss continued in 2018. […]

Gutted and Greenspaced

I am coining this term……… Let me explain what it means. We have portions of our town that need demolished greenspace needs to replace it. Consider this graphic This is Hickory, NC. See that train track in the bottom right? Why is this space green? Well when trains ran through that city and moved freight, […]

**Williamstown Bridge Purchase Update**

April Fools 🙂 We are not buying the Williamstown Bridge, renaming it, and charging toll to West Virginians alone. We will leave that distinction to the Memorial Bridge. But seriously, there is a quote in the article I wrote that I want to expound upon  “For years we have been told that citizens of our […]