Group seeks ideas for Wellsburg

WELLSBURG — A Wellsburg group wants to hear ideas for the city’s downtown business district at an informal meeting to be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Brooke County Public Library.

Alex Weld said she and other members of the Wellsburg Revitalization Group hope to hear from people of all backgrounds.

“This is the first step — rallying the troops to get everybody into the same room,” Weld said.

The volunteer committee is the result of a joint effort by the Wellsburg Chamber of Commerce, Brooke County Economic Development Authority and others to draw more businesases to the city’s downtown business district.

In recent years city leaders have lamented that many buildings in the city sit unused, and the groups have been exploring ways to attract new businesses and residents.

Monday’s meeting will be led by Jake Daugherty, executive director of Wheeling Heritage, which has been involved with similar efforts in that city.

Weld said suggestions made during the meeting won’t be forgotten after the meeting has ended. She said the group plans to meet again on July 25 to discuss the ideas proposed.

Ideas suggested at joint meetings of the chamber and economic development authority have included advertising a block or area of the city to potential developers through metropolitan newspapers, using YouTube or social media to promote available property, capitalizing on the city’s proximity to the Ohio River and creating more activities for youth.

Weld said the group may be able to secure funds for improvements to aging buildings or community events that can help boost the local economy.

She and other members of the committee attended Tuesday’s Wellsburg Council meeting to invite city officials to the meeting and seek input for a grant from the West Virginia Community Development Hub, a state organization funded by a mix of private and public funds, that supports efforts to revitalize communities.