Kanawha Commission Approves $1 Million House Demolition Project

This spring and summer, Kanawha County officials hope to demolish dozens of dilapidated houses throughout the county. At its regular meeting Thursday, the Kanawha County Commission approved using $1 million on a demolition program to raze up to 114 houses.

The county uses 100 percent of its building permit fees for the demolition of dilapidated structures, county Planning Director Steve Neddo said. The county currently has more than $375,000 in building fees on hand, which it will leverage with an interest-free loan from the West Virginia Housing Development Fund. Altogether, the county plans to spend around $1 million to demolish the structures.

Read the full story from the Charleston Gazette-Mail here.

Register for Intensive Historic Real Estate Development Course in Fairmont


Through a generous sponsorship from BB&T, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and National Trust for Historic Preservation have organized for the National Development Council to bring the first of its two-part Historic Real Estate Finance Professional Certification series to Fairmont – May 8 – 12, 2017.

This five-day intensive course offers a step-by-step look at the real estate development process from the perspective of lenders, developers and investors.

West Virginian’s have priority registration until March 27th, so register soon! Registration for this 5 day course is $250, a mere fraction of the regular price.

Check out the full information on this course at PAWV’s website by clicking here.

A Community Thrives: New Social Impact Grant Program

A Community Thrives is a new approach to social impact programs that was developed through a collaboration across the entire USA TODAY NETWORK. While most initiatives designate funds or give support to great charities, we’re going to instead fund and support great ideas. The volunteering begins with you pitching your creative solutions to solving our communities’ most critical needs.

We are very encouraged by the participation in ACT and the ideas many of you submitted. This is our first year and we would love to have more participation. We want to allow enough time for the word to spread about ACT and to have a pool of submissions for each category. So we’re extending the Entry Period to March 31st and the Voting Period will run beginning April 12th and ending May 12th.

Learn more about this funding opportunity here.

Making BAD Buildings Good Again: West Virginia communities display best efforts to tackle dilapidated building issues

Photo Credit: Kailee Gallahan (The Exponent Telegram)


Though West Virginia is known for its peaceful and serene country scenery, nestled in several of its mountains are communities fighting blighted and dilapidated structures that significantly damage that pristine image.

“Honestly, it’s been an issue for a long time,” said Luke Elser, project manager of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University. “In West Virginia, it feels like a lot of communities and the citizens themselves have begun to address this by saying, ‘This problem needs to be solved, and we need to solve it as a community.’”

Read the full article at The Exponent Telegram.

EDITORIAL: Cities Face Complex Issues in Rehabilitating Structures

Photo Credit: Brittany Murry (The Exponent Telegram)

Editorial from The Exponent Telegram: While our state lawmakers continue to meet in Charleston each day to discuss answers to the dire question of how to fill the gaping budget gap, our mayors and community leaders wake up each morning, look out their windows and wonder how to make their neighborhoods a little better.

Read the full article at The Exponent Telegram.

Revitalizing Downtown Huntington Through Local Foods

Photo by The Wild Ramp

Back in 2012, the Wild Ramp was just a good idea: “why can’t there be a local market in the Huntington area where people can buy locally-produced food and crafts?”

Five years later and the Wild Ramp, on 14th Street in West Huntington, is a key driver of the region’s food and farm economy, representing 158 local producers and moving closer each year to almost $400,000 in annual sales. Since it opened in July of 2012, the Wild Ramp has returned more than $1.2 million to local producers.

Find out how they accomplished this by reading the full story here.

Upcoming WV Economic Development Webinars

The International Economic Development Council brings you this series of six trainings in partnership with the WV Community HUB and its five Innovation Acceleration Strategy communities, made possible by funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Preserving our Stories – Opportunities for Heritage Tourism
Date: March 23, 2017, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Price: Free

Take advantage of assistance readily available to you, while also learning how to influence and shape projects in your region. You’ll hear how to partner with regional, state and federal authorities to accomplish your goals. This webinar will show you how to use available technical assistance that can help you advance your objectives.

Maximizing the use of Federal and State Tools for Economic Development

Date: March 23, 2017, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Price: Free

Take advantage of assistance readily available to you, while also learning how to influence and shape projects in your region. You’ll hear how to partner with regional, state and federal authorities to accomplish your goals. This webinar will show you how to use available technical assistance that can help you advance your objectives.

Click here to register for these webinars through IEDC.