Weirton Port dissolved by state board

WEIRTON – The West Virginia Public Port Authority has dissolved the Weirton Area Port Authority.

In a brief statement, released Friday afternoon, Mayor George Kondik said WVPPA had decided to “immediately rescind and terminate all the powers and duties” it had granted the Weirton Inland Port District, doing business as the Weirton Area Port Authority, Inc.

Kondik said the vote was 5-0, with member Pat Ford abstaining.

Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, said he abstained because his organization had been contacted by a party “interested in pursuing a project with (us) that could have possibly resulted in a bidding war with the Weirton Area Port Authority for a parcel of land in the City of Weirton.”

“I disclosed this information to the WVPPA and chose to abstain from the vote rather than provide an avenue upon which (WVPPA’s) decision could be challenged,” he said.

Kondik declined further comment, referring questions to City Attorney Vince Gurrera, who said council will be asked to consider rescinding an ordinance authorizing appointments to the WAPA board. Council’s next meeting is Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Port members, meanwhile, held an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss the WVPPA meeting, and to meet in executive session to discuss financial and property matters. B.J. DeFelice, who had served as WAPA chairman, could not be reached late Friday afternoon for comment.