FARIMONT, W. Va. – The Marion Regional Development Corporation is now the county’s recognized business development organization.
MRDC Executive Director Allen Staggers said the City of Fairmont and Marion County officially voted to work with and fund the organization last year.
The organization’s initial operating budget is $92,270, including $35,000 each from the Fairmont County and City Commission and $22,270 from the West Virginia Local Economic Development Grant, used to make of Marion County a Certified Place of Business.
“He started by loaning the companies money and they developed the first industrial park in Fairmont,” Staggers said. “Over the years, FICC and MRDC have developed the Fairmont Technology Park and several other parks.
One of the first priorities was to establish a presence on the Internet. A top priority for this web page was a inventory of buildings, land or developable land available in Marion County
Currently, commercial or manufacturing-ready sites are in high demand, Staggers said.
“People who search for sites and/or buildings usually search for databases or websites with databases containing information about available sites and buildings. So it was very important for us. »
One of the MRDC’s priorities is the development of Sharon Steel’s 70-acre site. The site had been a coking and steel plant for many years, but now the site has been remediated and is ready for commercialization to organizations looking to expand. Staggers is working with the City of Fairmont to be named developer of this site.
Staggers said there are many businesses in the area that manufacture and design auto parts and electronics. He hopes this site can be transformed into an automotive research campus.
“A series of ovals, curves and intersections where self-driving vehicles can be tested or companies working on alternative fuels or battery technology or development,” Staggers said. “It can be a confined test track for them.”
The organization also aims to help retain existing businesses and help them expand or find new markets. In addition, the MRDC is also a resource for companies that may need technical assistance or market information.
“Companies can be working on a project and need technical assistance – we don’t have all the answers, but we know where the other resources are,” Staggers said.
One of the first efforts was to help the Fairmont Hills RV Park extend water, sewer, WiFi and electricity. The park at 930 East Grafton Road markets its proximity to Middletown Commons, shopping, and a major RV dealership that can meet maintenance needs.
“They just had their first shove last week and from what I hear they are expecting a lot of traffic and they have a lot of bookings,” Staggers said. “Obviously it’s a need for this area and I think they’ll do pretty well.”