CHESTER - Because of some scheduling conflicts, the Rock Springs Riverfront Redevelopment Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday rather than after tonight's Chester City Council meeting.
The group meets in the multipurpose room of the Chester City Building.
Luke Elser, project manager of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center based at West Virginia University, said the group will be discussing the results of the Oct. 1 community workshop held at Chester City Park, the next steps toward cleanup and redevelopment of the former Taylor Smith & Taylor pottery site, and additional work of the committee.
Elser and Patrick Kirby, NBAC executive director, have been facilitating the committee meetings since the group formed in the spring to envision possible development uses for the 9-acre site.
The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle purchased the property in July. Patrick Ford, executive director, has been working with John Brown of the Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning and Development Council, and Kirby and Elser to secure funding for cleanup and development of the site.
Riverfront housing and office space, restaurants, retail shops and light industrial development are some of the possibilities for the site, Ford has said.
Residents have suggested a riverfront restaurant, a motel, a microbrewery, and even recreation of the former Rock Springs Park in some form.
The park included amusement rides and a dance hall.
Marvin Six, BDC assistant director, said community involvement and input is a key component in grant applications for redevelopment of the site.
Six said since the July purchase of the former pottery by the BDC, much work has been done toward applying for grants to fund cleanup and redevelopment.
Putting a vision for the site on paper, including what the community wants or doesn't want, is vital, Six said.
Ford has said since the BDC's purchase of the property was announced, he has received numerous calls, and some offers. He said, however, the BDC intends to develop the property and has no immediate plans to sell it.
He also said the BDC does not plan to develop heavy industry on the site, noting after decades of looking at the rubble of TS&T, residents, the immediate neighbors in particular, probably aren't yet ready for another heavy industry to be operating at that location.
(Tullis can be contacted at email@example.com)