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Parkersburg Still In Running For Cracker Plant

By: Shannon Houser
By: Shannon Houser

UPDATE: 3/26/2013 4:50 PM

Parkersburg remains in the running for a cracker plant. Officials toured the area scouting for a possible location.

Wood County Economic Director Cam Huffman cannot confirm or deny whether surveyors were in the area Tuesday, and says he can't talk about what location might be considered.
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West Virginia may have been passed up last year for one cracker plant, but there's still a chance another one could be built in the mountain state.

A big boost for the local economy could be right around the corner.

"Of course it's no secret Wood County is in the running for the possibility of a cracker plant," says Mayor Bob Newell

The valley is still in the running for a cracker plant, but what kind of plant or even what company may build is still unclear.

"It's a big operation. It's several billions of dollars to build it, it takes a long time to build it and it creates a lot of jobs during construction and afterwards. The company, whoever that is, when they decide, it will really be up to them. They'll need to have all their paperwork done and property assembled. They have to do all that before they announce and so I'm sure that's still a ways off."

But what is clear is why our area is a prime location to build.

"I think what leaves us in the running is number one there's a good workforce here in Wood County. I think that's been pretty well touted by Hino and other places around the state and really around the country. The other thing is there's some property that is available as I understand is close to the railroad, the river, the highway system and that's one of the main things they look for when they're looking at locations.

And although somewhat controversial in it's methods, the cracker plant would create jobs and a thriving economy on both sides of the river.

"It would mean a lot. It would mean first of all, jobs. Jobs with pretty decent benefits. Manufacturing jobs. It would do a lot for the entire economy on both sides of the Ohio River and this entire region. As far as Parkrsburg itself, it would mean more population and more jobs again, and that's very important to us."

Mayor Newell says when the decision is made, it will come from Governor Tomblin's office in Charleston. He excects an announcement in a few months.


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