KEYSER, W.Va. — Not only are Keyser and Mineral County receiving a new manufacturing facility, but the area is also getting a new friend, according to several speakers at Tuesday’s ground breaking for America’s Best Block.
Both Mineral County Development Authority director Kevin Clark and Keyser city administrator Randy Amtower told the crowd gathered in the field along Harland Ridder Drive in Keyser’s Industrial Park that Madgi Hassanein, chairman of America’s Best Block, worked so well with the local officials in bringing the facility to Mineral County that they all quickly became more friends than associates.
“Very few men are as welcoming and gracious as Madgi has been,” Clark said, telling Hassanein, I look forward to working with you in the next years.”
America’s Best Block is an autoclave aerated concrete manufacturing facility which produces a light-weight concrete building material considered fire resistant and eco-friendly.
According to Amtower, the facility will use effluent water from the city’s wastewater treatment facility, located just across the road, and bringing the business to the Industrial Park was therefore a win-win situation for both Hassanein and the city.
Amtower credited city council member Terry Liller for bringing the business to his attention. He also praised Hassanein for being in the business “for all the right reasons.”
Amtower noted that Keyser’s ABB plant will be only the second one in the United States, with the first plant being located in Florida.
“This is a product that America needs,” he said.
With the blocks offering better insulation and therefore more efficient heating and cooling of the buildings constructed with them, being fire resistant and also offering more stability in that they don’t rust, rot, corrode or decompose, they are considered eco-friendly.
In addition, by using the effluent from the city’s treatment plant, the facility will comply with Chesapeake Bay standards.
Amtower therefore told the crowd Tuesday that the material will “help preserve life, health, the economy and the Chesapeake Bay.”
West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette noted that, in looking for “just the right spot” for the plant, Hassanein looked for a small community in which he could become involved.
“And that’s something worth celebrating.”
Burdette also brought greetings from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Mary Jo Brown brought greetings from Sen. Joe Manchin, Aaron Sporck brought greetings from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, and Pam Krushansky brought greetings from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
America’s Best Block is expected to bring in 50 jobs to the area.