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Authority talks projects, property

March 7, 2011

WEIRTON - As the city continues to look for additional revenue sources and develop the area, the Weirton Redevelopment Authority discussed several projects and properties during its recent meeting.

Redevelopment Authority Chairman Mark Zatezalo said a way for the city to produce additional revenue would be to get into storing and repairing barge containers. A major problem in shipping, he said, is not having a place to keep the empty containers and restore them if necessary.

The way it would work, said Zatezalo, is the containers would come in, the goods would be distributed and the containers would be returned to the place of origin after being repaired.

"Of course, we'd have to discuss it with those involved with the shipping of goods but it could play well into the setting up of a port in Weirton and it's not an expensive business to get into," he said noting the setup costs less than $1 million.

Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh said while the idea is in its infancy, Weirton is a nice location between the East Coast and Chicago and would be worth looking into.

In other business, the group discussed the Northern Development District, which encompasses much of the ArcelorMittal Weirton property.

Zatezalo said two years ago there was a study conducted which declared the north end of Weirton as a development district. Two options, he said, were given to the Redevelopment Authority as to what exactly could be done with the property - industrial or mixed light industrial and residential.

"ArcelorMittal has never responded to any requests for discussion," said Zatezalo.

Board member Larry Dorsch questioned the point of putting time and effort toward putting together a development plan if ArcelorMittal won't be a part of the discussion.

Zatezalo said obtaining a study to declare an area blighted and in need of redevelopment is a prerequisite to moving forward. He said if the right proposal ever came along, the property could be obtained but there has to be a district in a certified development area.

(Dickson can be contacted at

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