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McCormick Seeking 5th Term as Commissioner

Tim McCormick

Ohio County Commissioner Tim McCormick said Tuesday he will seek a fifth six-year term as commissioner in 2020, but the election is likely his last.

McCormick, a Democrat, made the announcement Tuesday while standing in front of the future Ohio County sports complex at The Highlands. He currently serves as president of the commission.

“I think for the past 23 years, the commission has worked very progressively to move the county in the right direction,” McCormick said. “We are in a very stable position financially.”

He attributes much of the county’s recent financial success to The Highlands.

The property at The Highlands is owned by Ohio County, and development there comes under the jurisdiction of the Ohio County Development Authority — a government body appointed by the Ohio County Commission. As a commissioner, McCormick is a member of the authority, as are fellow commissioners Randy Wharton and Don Nickerson.

County officials continue to look for new tenants at The Highlands, and McCormick said a number of new offerings will be opening there by the end of summer. Among these are Hobby Lobby, Taco Bell, an Xfinity store and a Starbucks, which are all slated for grand openings in late July or early August.

But still there are two other projects that have been in the works that have been slowly simmering for some time.

“We’re waiting for Menards to come out of the ground, and we’re still waiting diligently on the second interchange,” McCormick said.

The super-size home improvement store Menards has purchased property at The Highlands, but has yet to break ground. Tax increment financing dollars resulting from the Menards property are to be directed toward funding future construction on a second roadway connecting The Highlands development with Interstate 70.

McCormick termed work on getting the interchange “a constant battle,” but he said a contract for design work on the project was signed last week with the HDR engineering firm of Omaha, Nebraska.

The sports complex will be “a huge boon” to Ohio County, according to McCormick. While much of the construction on the facility is visible, he acknowledged the project is behind schedule because of the rainy weather this year.

“We’re not sure when it’s going to be opening — probably half-way through the year next year,” he said. “With the weather we’ve had, it’s hard for these guys to get up on those steel beams when it is raining. … If it turns out the way we think it will, it’s going to be absolutely fantastic. We’ll have kids running everywhere and playing sports. That’s what we’re looking for. That puts people in the restaurants, in the theater, and buying gas and doing whatever they need to do.”

Prior to entering politics, McCormick worked 37 years as a physical education and sports medicine teacher and athletic trainer for Ohio County Schools. He was first elected commissioner in 1996 after serving a term on Wheeling City Council.

“This will be my last term (as commissioner),” McCormick said if he’s re-elected. “It will be time for someone else to come in.”

He followed his mother’s footsteps into public service. Molly McCormick served on Wheeling City Council in the middle 1980s.

“I know there are a lot of people who are a little disenchanted with politics and the way things are done in D.C. — with people not willing to work across the aisle with each other,” McCormick said. “You won’t find that here in Ohio County because we don’t have an aisle to work across. Our commission works with Democrats, Republicans and Independents, no matter what the case may be. We try to do whatever we can to make the quality of life better for the residents of Ohio County.”

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