Public, private investments going into development at Three Springs Drive

The future is looking bright for the City of Weirton, as more funding could be coming to a multi-million-dollar project.

The future is looking bright for the City of Weirton, as more funding could be coming to a multi-million-dollar project.

Some big plans are in store for this plot of land along Three Springs Drive. Now, there’s plans falling into place as for how the project will be paid for.

At Friday’s special council meeting, city leaders discussed more funding that could help.

"Tax dollars that are essentially put aside in this TIF district, in terms of being kept aside for economic development purposes in this specific area, are spent correctly,” said Weirton City Manager Travis Blosser. “So, that’s what we’re working towards."

Blosser is talking about tax increment financing, or TIF funding.

Once approved on a local level, the city waits for approval by the state to obtain the money. It can then be used to pave the way for more investment.

"You put it within a fund and you are able to utilize that money to invest in economic development,” Blosser said. “That then hopefully generates more increment to develop additional economic development, and generate additional increment and then eventually once that closes out, now you have an even larger tax base than what you had before,” Blosser said.

The question now remains: what is the funding being used for? Of the 72 acres purchased for redevelopment, this specific investment will go toward stores, hotels and restaurants within 10 of those acres.

The reaming acreage will be put to industrial use down the road.

"What we are focusing on -- in addition to our 10 acre entertainment district -- is creating sights on 62 acres for some manufacturing prospects, both domestic and internationally,” said Business Development Corporation Executive Director Pat Ford.

While there is city and state funding involved, there are also private investors putting in millions of dollars to make it all a reality.

"They believe in the future of our community,” Ford said. “That’s really exciting about this particular project that is really unique, is that we have local business people investing in the future of our community."

One of those investors is Weirton Attorney Eric Frankovitch. He said it’s all about giving back and bettering the community he grew up in.

"This is our home, this is where we were raised, where we grew up,” Frankovitch said. “We think there is great opportunity here. Not only for the oil and gas, but the region we think is doing really well, and we think we're going to recover from the slide we had when the steel mills went down."

Residents are invited to attend a public hearing July 9 to voice any concerns on the TIF funding. That gets underway at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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