Development milestone reached

As a result of our area’s industrial heritage, any future development is going to be complicated.

None of us truly know what has been put into the land as a result of past industrial use, whether it be steel, tin, pottery or glass.

That is why it was good news to hear in recent days the Business Development Corp. had received official word from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection it had completed the environmental cleanup of the Rock Springs Business Park.

The property formerly was the home of the Taylor, Smith and Taylor pottery facility.

After sitting vacant and unused for close to 30 years, the BDC purchased the property in 2011, and, with support from various governmental agencies, the Hancock County Commission and some non-profit grant organizations, has spent the last seven years working to ensure all contamination has been removed.

The May 25 receipt of a certificate of completion from the WVDEP will now open the door to private investment, which means more opportunity for development and the creation of jobs in Chester.

That is good news for our region.

This was the BDC’s first major development project. The efforts in Chester have formed the blueprint of every brownfield project the agency has undertaken as it works to rehabilitate these former industrial sites for future use.

The work will not happen overnight. Much as with the Chester project, it will take several years to ensure these sites are properly cleaned up.

Once that takes place, though, there is no limit in what could happen with their future.