Unless you’ve been living under a rock–or more appropriately a layer of shale—you know there’s a big chance an ethane cracker plant that will soon make Belmont County home.
And while the phrase “proposed ethane cracker plant” is used and is necessary, Belmont County officials are working like it’s coming-
“We are doing everything we can on a daily basis–whether it’s the cracker plant, or anything else, from a public government standpoint, our job is to do what we need to do to lay the foundation for job creation. Public sector doesn’t create jobs, elected officials don’t create jobs, even though you hear that term all the time, we lay the foundation. In this case it is infrastructure foundation, it is water, sewer, roads, bringing together all local entities to work with the state of Ohio and PTT, we are doing that,” said Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas.
They are also working with officials from Hancock to Marshall County–to make sure as an area in general, we are ready to support an influx of not only people but new needs–
“When you’re talking 800-1,000 permanent jobs, that’s fantastic. But what a lot of people forget for an average of 1 job created, there’s 4 jobs needed to support that,” said Thomas.
Outside of Mead Township and Shadyside seeing an obvious direct effect, Marshall County and Moundsville stand to see the next highest change… And the effects trickle up and down the river.
“The cracker plant coming to Belmont County, that’s a win for Wheeling, a win for Northern West Virginia,” said current Wheeling Mayor, Andy McKenzie.
Mark Thomas says as of now-all things point to the positive when it comes to the cracker plant happening. It’s game changer, brining in billions of dollars in investments. Changing not only the physical appearance where the plant will be but how we live day to day.
“It’s such a regional development there are going to be people and companies by choice that have to locate maybe 20 miles away, because of the availability of land. I think you’re going to see more and better infrastructure, more residential and commercial developments,” said Thomas.