In the coming weeks, the demolition of the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor pottery will have been completed and the pottery itself, as well as the eyesore it unfortunately had become in the last 30 years, will fade into the memory of our local residents.
Only 15 months ago, the removal of this once-proud pottery which once served as part of the lifeblood of Chester and Hancock County still seemed like a dream. There had been efforts for many years, but not much had ever come from them.
Then, a little more than a year ago, a group of residents came together to form the Rock Springs Riverfront Redevelopment Committee with a goal of, once and for all, finding a way to make that dream a reality. A few months later, the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle became involved and purchased the property with the intention of moving forward with the demolition and marketing the site for future business development.
Today, only the concrete foundation and the remnants of seven 70-foot silos remain, and soon they too will disappear.
More than 250 loads of asbestos-containing material have been hauled to a certified landfill since the work began, and efforts are being made to recycle as much of the remaining material as possible.
The goal has been accomplished because the BDC, the committee and area government officials have been willing to work together to make it possible.
The egos were put to the side, channels of communication were opened wide and a new sense of cooperation and community spirit exploded up and down the Ohio River.
Everyone from Chester City Council, to the Hancock County Commission, state legislators, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has had a hand in getting this project to move forward, working with the everyday citizens of Chester and making this dream true.
They all deserve a round of applause for everything they have accomplished to date.
We can't wait to see what they can accomplish with this project as it continues to help provide the Chester community and its residents with a fresh start and, hopefully, many new jobs and other opportunities.