Abandoned Buildings Grant to Provide Momentum for Parsons

Parsons Revitalization Organization ON TRAC (PRO ON TRAC) has received a technical assistance grant valued at $10,000 through the 2015 Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Technical Assistance Program to address barriers to the reuse and redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated buildings in Parsons.

The BAD Buildings Program grant was awarded to PRO ON TRAC by the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center. The program provides technical assistance and expertise to assist communities in West Virginia to create a redevelopment plan for its strategically located abandoned, vacant, and dilapidated properties.

Parsons was one of only 9 communities statewide to receive a 2015 BAD Buildings Program technical assistance grant.

“This is a huge step toward revitalizing our depressed downtown,” said Mayor Dorothy Judy.  “We stand united with PRO ON TRAC as they embark on this challenging journey.  In spite of any obstacles and frustrations, bringing a dead downtown back to life is a great endeavor for any community and well worth investing time, money, energy and emotion in.”

“Downtown revitalization requires a high degree of cooperation and is best achieved when a public/private process is used,” said City Administrator Jason Myers.  “As a proud member of PRO ON TRAC, I’m honored to be working with such a great group of people with great intentions and, most importantly, vision.  A vision to turn downtown into a thriving and sustainable commercial area that will offer amenities, goods, and services for our community.”

Momentum for revitalization is growing in Parsons.  “We have dedicated individuals who are ready to give their sweat and tears working towards the betterment of Parsons now!” said Dr. Cynthia Kolsun, ON TRAC Liaison.  Sounds of construction can often be heard on First Street, where renovations are underway on the Eddie McDonald Building.  Next door, three new businesses—GJ Garton Insurance, Piccolo Paula’s, and The Paint Store—have moved into the historic Tucker County Bank Building.

Luke Elser, BAD Buildings Program Manager says, “The BAD Buildings model provides an initial stepping stone for revitalization efforts by initiating redevelopment progress and spurring community involvement.  The NBAC looks forward to working with PRO ON TRAC and its community partners on this project."

The BAD Buildings Program is funded through a grant from the Benedum Foundation through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for West Virginia University.

Information about the BAD Buildings Program can be found at www.wvbrownfields.org.  The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, located at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy.

A public meeting about the BAD Buildings Program will be held on April 7 at 12:00pm in the Council Chambers, located on the first floor of the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building, 341 Second Street, Parsons, West Virginia.  All are welcome to attend.