Fostoria Project Moving Along Again

Officials of GAB Enterprises LLC. several months ago made a request to Moundsville City Council to consider transferring the 8.24 acres of the former Fostoria Glass Plant to their firm prior to the clean-up of the project is completed. The main reason being so that GAB can begin efforts attract tenants.

The request for ownership will come as an early Christmas present to GAB as within two weeks the deed to the property will be officially in the hands of GAB officials.

You might have read previously that both the Municipal Building Commission and Moundsville City Council had agreed to the deed transfer. However, the action was voided by a MBC membership issue.

But last week, with the membership issue having been resolved, the commission voted to transfer the deed.

City Attorney Tom White said the previous action of city council remains in affect, and thus the only thing needed now is for the deed to be drawn up and for MBC chairman Rob Wolfe to sign it on behalf of the the city building commission.

The MBC actually acted on two issues this past week, the other being to dissolve a previous agreement between the the building commission and GAB.

The Fostoria tract of land was deeded to the city of Moundsville by the state tax commissioner nine years ago, this after entities such as the city of Moundsville, the Marshall County Commission and the Marshall County Board of Education agreed to forgive any back taxes owed them by the previous owner – Lancaster Colony.

Prior to voting to transfer the deed, the three new members of the MBC, Larry Anderson, James Barlip and Danny Jacobs, were given an update of how the city obtained the property, the creation of the Municipal Building Commission, the city’s initial agreement with developer Harold Games seven years ago, his joining with Lou Aulenbacher and Tom Brown of RAZA International to form GAB Enterprises, along with the work which was has been done, the state and federal regulations involving the razing of buildings and also, any water and ground issues, Brownfield funding, etc.

The fifth member of the MCB is Dave Rickman.

City Manager Allen Hendershot, who has been involved with the project for nine years, told the new MBC members that the site had become an eyesore several years after the facility closed its doors in 1986, and that a Fostoria Steering Committee was initially formed and was responsible for having the first testing for contaminates done.

Also, that an agreement with Games was first drawn up in 2004 who agreed to raze the structures on the the site, and remove all contaminants and meet Environmental Protection Agency Standards. Once this occurred, he would be deeded the property for development.

Hendershot said the city council at that time was interested in turning this once productive site to again provide jobs which in turn would help economy, and would again provide taxes to the city, the school system and the county.

During recent MBC meetings, members have stated they wanted assurance that GAB would finish the work, and they were told by Games and Brown that since they have already invested thousands dollars of their own money and the only way they could get their money back would be to finish the work and attract tenants.

Another issue has been whether the city would have any say should the property be deeded to GAB, and they were informed that the site would be treated like any other site in the city in regards to such issues as zoning.

Also, Brown stated that he wants to continue to work with the building commission and that the board would in turn convey information to city council.

Brown said that the current goal of GAB is to receive a certificate of compliance from the EPA by June 2012.

It was also stated that once the COC is received any previous owners of the property, including the city of Moundsville, the Municipal Building Commission and GAB would not be liable.

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A light-up event will be taking place at the Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale at 6 p.m. Monday, as members of Glen Dale Council and the Marshall County Historical Society will pull the switch to light up the 45-foot pine tree located next to the Cockayne House.

The event will also include the singing of Christmas carols, led by Karri Rose Haglock. Refreshments will be provided by Reynolds Memorial Hospital.

Parking will be available across W.Va. 2 in the north parking lot of John Marshall High School, along with street parking.

Anyone needing special assistance with parking is asked to call the city building at 304-845-5511.

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The judging of the outdoor Christmas decorations of Glen Dale residents will take place on Saturday. Those wishing to have their decorations judged are to have the lights on that evening.

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The annual Sing-A-Long at the Moundsville-Marshall County Library will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Christmas music will be performed by Wesley Howsare, and Santa will be making an appearance.

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A holiday lighting contest in the city of McMechen will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday. The event had originally been scheduled for Thursday but was changed due to a scheduling conflict.

Residents who want their outside decorations judged are to have their lights on.

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The city of Moundsville will be sponsoring a House Decorating Contest on Thursday. Anyone wishing to have their outdoor decorations judged is to submit their name, address and telephone number to the city clerk’s office (304-845-3394) by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The prizes will be $100, $50 and $25.