Monongalia County Commission: TIF Could Be Revived - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Monongalia County Commission: TIF Could Be Revived

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There may be new life to a TIF bill that could create jobs and infrastructure in Monongalia County.

The Monongalia County Commission joined officials from Granville, Morgantown, and Westover April 16 on a conference call with Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to discuss the future of Senate Bill 125.

Governor Tomblin extended legislature through Friday in order to work on the budget bill. While nothing else can be done in that time, Tomblin said he could file for a special session in order to revisit the TIF bill once that bill is passed.

"Once again, I think when people cool down, just a little bit, they have a tendency to get together and do what's right. I still have faith in them up there," said Tomblin.

Those were reassuring words that left officials feeling good about what Tomblin had to say.

"I think it was a very positive conversation with the governor," said Ron Snyder, Granville's municipal manager. "I think he will do things in his power to resurrect this TIF bill and get it passed."

Tomblin reiterated his support for the bill, which was just one of two bills addressed during legislature that provided job growth.

The proposed ballpark takes up just seven of 150 acres of the TIF district.

The remaining development would include infrastructure and a business park helping to create nearly 2,000 jobs in what the commission said is one of the poorest areas in the community.

"Scott's Run, Osage, Chaplin, that area has been depressed since the coal mine depression in the 1950's," said commission president Eldon Callen. "I traveled with Ted Kennedy down through there when he was running for president and he talked about what a travesty it was to have so much poverty so close to Morgantown."

One major obstacle for the TIF is that passage may depend on a pay raise for magistrates. The magistrate and TIF bills were linked despite no common ground.

"How you can tie the two, which aren't related, is ludicrous," said Callen. "Like commissioner Bartolo said, 'If that's the way it works, than the legislative system is broken.'"

The bill died when the legislature ended Saturday at midnight without voting on the bill.