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Powhatan Deserves More

Editor, News-Register:

I’m Pattie Meyer. I’ve lived most of my life in Powhatan Point, Ohio, intermittingly living in various other places. I’ve been lucky because I’ve had the opportunity to travel almost everywhere I’ve wanted to and people ask me why I choose to still live in Powhatan. I live here because I love it here. I guess it’s a hillbilly thing.

I know we’ve always been a volatile valley with industries that are harmful to our air and water, but does that give the oil and gas industry the right to come in and make us even more at risk? A few weeks ago, I was in Switzerland, where my daughter lives and she was having a dinner party with colleagues from the gas and oil industry. She was telling them that I live near the potential cracker plant in Dilles. One of her friends who has visited our home described the area to them as one of the poorest places he’s ever been to in America. I went to sleep that night with the feeling that because they perceive us as poor they also feel we can be disregarded and build NGL storage areas near us with the potential to contaminate our water and blow us to smithereens because we don’t count.

I know that these companies will come and build what they want because there isn’t enough opposition to themhttp://bbs.amuniversal.com/Web/Index/UFS_Editorial_Cartoons/Henry_Payne/. I was also told that they are aware of that and target areas like ours. Coal did the same to us, providing us with jobs but raping our land and water and at times, killing our fathers. (My father was killed in a roof collapse in the 1950s.) What I don’t understand is how these companies get away with not providing our town with at least real roads and sidewalks. When I come home from Switzerland the first thing that shocks me is that we don’t have real roads and sidewalks in Powhatan. For goodness sake, we at least could make these companies make our town look better. I feel that Powhatan is taking the brunt of all of this activity (granted, it appears that Dilles Bottom is going to be practically eliminated). The width of Route 7 through our town is insufficient for the sort of traffic that is on it now. We need a light by the bridge by the Frosty Treat. We need a real left lane for turning onto that bridge. I know this is just the beginning of the traffic that we will be experiencing. I can’t imagine what it will be like for us to go to Kroger’s or Walmart to get groceries after the cracker plant is built. For people not from our area, we must travel to Moundsville to shop. The traffic has changed so much on the Moundsville bridge, making us wait for long periods of time to make a left turn after we get across the bridge.

Millions of dollars will come into Belmont County due to gas and oil and I feel Powhatan deserves a lot of this money because we are the ones whose lives have negatively changed the most.

Patricia Meyer

Powhatan Point

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