Mon County TIF project could have $1 billion impact

Monongalia County SealMORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The development around the University Town Centre Tax Increment Finance District could have an economic impact of $1 billion annually on the region.

The Monongalia County Commission released an economic impact study Wednesday that found once Phase I and Phase II of the project that includes the new Monongalia County Ballpark, new Interstate 79 interchange and new development on the western side of the interstate, could support 9,900 jobs by 2025.

“This is not just a Monongalia County project,” emphasized Commissioner Eldon Callen. “This is going to impact all of north central West Virginia.”

The Pittsburgh firm Trip Ubach conducted the study that looked at the projects starting with the construction phase through completion of the project. The nearly 10,000 permanent jobs projected over the next decade are expected to be in a variety of fields ranging from industry to health care to hospitality.

Currently, Phase II of the project is waiting on Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s approval. Callen said much of the projected economic impact is based on businesses locating in the development but the development can’t move forward without the governor’s signature.

“My understanding is we’re getting positive responses and it is on the governor’s desk.”

The state of West Virginia also stands to benefit once the project is complete. The study concluded the state will receive an annual net increase in revenues of approximately $30 million.

“We need for the roads, the utilities, the connection to the Gateway through that old abandoned coal mine area to be complete to finish the project,” Callen said.