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Jina Belcher of NRGRDA elected chair of newly formed Fayette County Land Reuse Agency

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Fayette County, W.Va. – The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority’s (NRGRDA) Executive Director Jina Belcher was elected Chair of the newly created Fayette County Land Reuse Agency.

Jina Belcher

The state’s first-ever county-based land reuse agency is designed to identify abandoned and dilapidated sites and structures, obtain ownership within the land reuse agency, determine and master plan highest and best reuse of the property, and source developers that will create new residential, commercial, and industrial developments within Fayette County.

Initial board members of the agency, other than Belcher, include:

  • Tom Louisos, Fayette County Commissioner;
  • Eddie Young, Fayette County Assessor; and
  • Terry Sizemore, public member, as required by the West Virginia Code.

Commissioner Louisos was a driving force in the authorization and implementation of the Fayette County Land Reuse Agency. “We saw an opportunity to leverage the West Virginia Land Reuse Agency Authorization Act to create a land bank for our county to maximize the use of land and properties,” said Louisos. “The designation of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve added new pressures on local governments and created opportunities for rapid growth and redevelopment of the region.”

Belcher said the primary goal in this position is for NRGRDA to collaborate with Fayette County to determine the highest and best re-use for abandoned properties that can be turned into quality, taxable assets. “Jurisdictions throughout the New River Gorge region — and the entire state for that matter – would be well advised to follow Fayette County’s lead on the creation of a localized Land Reuse Agency. Prioritizing the inventory of abandoned, under-utilized properties with a goal of potential reuse and recovery continues to be top of mind for NRGRDA and its communities,” said Belcher.

Members of the Fayette County Land Reuse Agency will serve one-year terms and receive no compensation for their service.

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About New River Gorge Regional Development Authority: The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority’s (NRGRDA) mission is to initiate, facilitate and support the economic and community development efforts within the counties of Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers located in this region of southern West Virginia. NRGRDA stimulates the regional economy through business expansion and retention efforts, including an extensive portfolio of financial services; the management of sites for new companies locating to our region; and serving as a point of access for local service providers which offer a variety of technical assistance for business owners. More can be found at https://nrgrda.org/

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