Mason to Lead 50th Anniversary Christmas Parade in Moundsville
MOUNDSVILLE — Longtime commissioner and community leader Donald Mason will serve as grand marshal of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce 50th Anniversary Christmas Parade, which will be held on Nov. 23 starting at 6 p.m. in Moundsville.
Mason served 28 years as a commissioner, being elected successfully five times, the first time to fill the unexpired term of Bob Myers. He was re-elected on four different occasions, these being six-year terms. He has worked in the banking industry for 39 years. He was educated in Marshall County and graduated from Moundsville High school in 1959.
County commissioner was the only political office that Mason, a retired bank vice president, ever sought.
When Mason initially assumed his duties on Nov. 17, 1986, his fellow commissioners were Howard L. “Biggie” Byard and J. Donald Krupica. Since that time Mason has served with Malcolm Shimp, R.E. “Slim Lehart” Hartley, Jason “Jake” Padlow, Schambach and Miller.
Mason served 12 of the 28 years as commission president.
Mason has seen the county’s budget increase from $4,195,463 in 1986 to today’s figure of $17,175,444. Mason has been involved with locating a number of new businesses and industries to Marshall County, while helping to try to save others that either had to leave or close.
This work was done through his position on the board of directors and executive committee for the Regional Economic Development Partnership.
He has been extremely involved in helping to better the quality of life for the residents of Marshall County, having served on the board of directors and executive committee of the Bel-O-Mar Regional Council, which is integral in securing funds for expanding water and sewer lines throughout the county, the Ohio Valley Regional Transit Authority, the Marshall County Heath Department and Grand Vue Park.
These organizations have been through many changes over the years, including the evolution of the Clean Air Regulations, modernization of medical facilities, new recreation and lodging facilities, a new events building and getting GVP to become a tourist destination.
Mason believes an upturn in Marshall County started in the early 1990s when the commission was able to refinance bonds which enabled them to have $750,000 for the purchase of property which would become the Moundsville Business Park, a spinoff from the refinancing resulted in the purchase of land which would become the Benwood-McMechen Industrial Park.
Mason added that Certain-Teed and Warren Distribution have also played a big part in economy growth in the county.
“Recreation has become a big part in Marshall County’s growth,” Mason said. “We were able to provide additional monies to Grand Vue Park which has enabled it to grow. Had additional funding not been made to Grand Vue in all probability that facility would not have been in existence today.”