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What killed the Brooke County Power Plant investment? Commissioner says Charleston

Local News

Power Plants on the other side of the river are now a constant reminder of what could have been for Brooke County.

BROOKE COUNTY, W.VA. (WTRF) — Just in their grips; A power plant that could create over 1,000 jobs, money from the rare surplus of shale… And the years local elected officials spent encouraging Charleston that there’s more to invest in than just coal…. All undone with one notification this Friday & no chance to change minds.

The developer backed out. In fact, we didn’t really have a choice in the matter. They issued a press release a half an hour after speaking with me. So, we didn’t even have a chance to try to ask questions or do anything.

A.J. Thomas, Brooke County Commissioner

In a statement, the Brooke County Power CEO Drew Dorn DOES say:

“The external perception of a challenging climate in West Virginia has added to the difficult investment sector that changed drastically since the summer when the project initially approached the state’s development authority about a loan guarantee.”

And all the way to the summer of this year, that loan HAS had pushback…

The fight that occurred here to get the government to provide a $5.6-million loan… The fight we had to go through to get just that, didn’t present a very friendly investment opportunity here. Because of that, a major investor backed out.

A.J. Thomas, Brooke County Commissioner

Brooke County’s niche is its shale, not coal like most other areas of the Mountain State… And commissioners haven’t written off its potential just yet.

If they were to come to us and ask us to give them the same kind of deal in terms of the pilot program, with what the county does have control over, we would absolutely not turn them away.

A.J. Thomas, Brooke County Commissioner

Now with this one large investment no longer on the table, the commissioner tells me it’s time to think smaller businesses and more of them.

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