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Marlinton Mayor’s Corner

“In Doddridge County, officials have seen the economic effects of multiple pipelines that are under construction. The Doddridge County Commission President is on record as saying; ‘When I began, as commissioner 5 1/2 years ago, the budget was probably $5-6 million. Next year, our budget is about $12 million and the bulk of that has been generated by oil and gas.’

“The funds have allowed for the exterior renovation of the County Courthouse and the commission is starting work to expand water infrastructure in the county. ‘It’s unbelievable…the amount of traffic from people going to work. All you have to do is check out the hotels. They are packed with people who are employed not only with the pipeline, but, with other pipeline services. The same with the food vendors, restaurants and so on.”’- Atlantic Coast Pipeline offering hope for jobs ~ The Exponent Telegram

The much debated, 600-mile underground Atlantic Coast Pipeline begins in West Virginia. It is happening now. Opponents and distractors may occasionally stall or lengthen the time it takes to build, but, The ACP is happening. Our area will experience change, but, for the most part, the entire length of work will happen, as the rest of us go about our daily lives. With all of this in mind, each citizen should consider the positive aspects.

The ACP, estimated at $5.1 billion, is said to be one of the largest construction projects in North America, currently in progress. Corridor-H may be the closest comparison to anything like this in our region since the Bath County Pump-Storage Project.

Consider the $100-million Green Bank Telescope project. It was small in comparison, but, at one point, provided jobs for nearly 400 employees.

Though viewed as temporary, these types of projects provide above average income for workers. More importantly, they provide training and expertise in trades that often carry families forward for generations to come. The Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge and Alaskan Pipeline were all temporary jobs.

Marlinton has a 24 to 36-month (temporary) window of opportunity.

What are we going to do with this opportunity?

Even if you see this project as a lemon, you should see the opportunity to “make lemonade!” Understanding temporary workers need temporary services should have been considered two years ago. But, here we are.

Let’s not forget. This entire project will be a flash in the pan.

A bigger problem will be replacing the current impact when it is gone.

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