County Expecting More Activity at Highlands in 2014

Ohio County commissioners expect development activity at The Highlands in early 2014.

“We are working on several tenant deals – none of which we can announce yet,” said County Administrator Greg Stewart. “After the first of the year, we’ll get a few of those finalized. The expectation will be by summertime, we’ll see some activity going on.”

The county’s focus will be to bring additional retail, restaurant and entertainment offerings to The Highlands, he continued, though some office space also is being planned.

At present, work is happening to renovate a space inside the former Crone’s Clothiers’ space, and the county also is looking at constructing office space on the second floor of the AT&T building, according to Stewart.

Commissioners met for just six minutes Monday night.

They approved an extension of the liability insurance policy for the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport for one year, but tabled passage of a Federal Aviation Administration master agreement until a future meeting.

The FAA master agreement governs the use of grant money Airport Improvement Program funds sponsored by the FAA, Stewart explained.

The agreement funds large capital projects at the airport, he said. The current plan has been in place since 2000, and the FAA wants the document updated, according to Stewart.

While there is no rush on approving a new master agreement, the county will receive no additional grant money from commissioners until one is in place, he told commissioners. They opted to hold off on a vote until the master agreement had been examined by the engineering firm retained by Ohio County, Michael Baker and Associates of Coraopolis, Pa.

The commissioners next meet at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17.