In response to the BDC

To the editor:

If a small town is to succeed, cooperation between many entities is needed. I am writing this in response to the article from May 13, titled “BDC responds to concerns on air permit at business park.”

Much of the local controversy has centered on a state permit request that was posted in the Weirton Daily Times by Mountaineer Metal Management (a proposed lithium recycling plant). This news was a surprise to many, including those of us on Chester City Council, who were just made of aware of this news through the newspaper ad one week ago.

Now, I have a great appreciation for what the BDC has done involving the former TS&T property. Without them I am sure we’d still be staring at a vacant, polluted brownfield. I, along with many others and I am sure the BDC is among us, have shared frustration with the lack of a tenant at the property. As much as I would like to see that area of town bustling right this minute, we should not accept any entity that would not be a fit for the community.

Had the BDC or Mountaineer Metal Management reached out to the city of Chester before all of this, they would have been told that the city of Chester has an ordinance against the placement of recycling facilities within the city limits. Chester also has an ordinance against the storage of hazardous waste. This could have avoided the local outrage, the Facebook groups, the letter writing, and the phone calls I am sure they are receiving quite regularly.

I believe that in order for the former TS&T property to succeed, it will require cooperation between the BDC, Chester City Council, the Hancock County Commission, and state and local agencies. Keeping the lines of communication open keeps everyone on the same page. We all want the same thing here, but we also need to keep the needs of others into account before jumping into decisions that will effect us all. As a Chester City Councilman, my duty is to represent my ward and its citizens. I cannot fully do this in the dark and in this instance, is exactly where the BDC has put me and my fellow Councilmen. I invite the BDC to open the lines of communication even if we are not board members. A simple phone call or email can go a long way.

Ed Wedgewood,

3rd Ward Councilman,