Morgantown council hears TIF testimony

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – President and CEO of the Morgantown Area Partnership, Russ Rogerson and legal counsel for the Mon County Development Authority, Rocky Gianola provided testimony to city council members about the proposed tax increment finance district near the airport.

The proposed TIF map provided by the city includes more than 3.3-square miles, 60 percent in the county and 40 percent in the city, with a taxable value of more than $120 million.

Gianola told council members the TIF will fund infrastructure improvements in the proposed 90 acre I-68 Commerce Park.

“From my history with the development authority and the city, to me this is the single most important project to the city of Morgantown,” Gianola said.

Gianola said negotiations are ongoing with adjacent property owners that could double or even triple the size of the park over time.

“When you start talking about 140 or 150 continuous acres within five minutes of I-68,”Gianola said,”That’s a very important project to the city of Morgantown.”

Gianola says the successful completion of the commerce park depends on completion of the runway extension.

“This is the commitment of the development authority, we can develop that park and we would have between 28 and 32 usable acres,”Gianola said,”Once this runway is done we will have, for infrastructure and development, nearly 90 usable acres.

The Mon County Development Authority is interviewing engineers and plans to hire a firm in the next 60 days to layout the initial 90 acres.

Negotiations are ongoing with many possible tenants.