Latest News, Monongalia County

Mon Commission receives annual TIF report

MORGANTOWN — As of June 30, the four tax increment finance (TIF) districts in Monongalia County had realized a total increase in assessed value north of $300 million.

This according to the county’s annual TIF reporting, submitted by Steptoe & Johnson and accepted during the county commission’s most-recent regular meeting.

The districts (including increase in assessed value) are Star City/Boyers Avenue ($19,851,013); Morgantown Industrial Park ($75,328,035); Monongalia General Hospital ($56,143,656) and University Town Centre ($160,042,296). The hospital is now known as Mon Health Medical Center.

Along with the numbers, the report also provides insight into projects within the various districts, including the 210,000-square-foot Mountaintop Beverage facility targeted for the Morgantown Industrial Park.

According to the report, Preston Contracting, of Kingwood, was awarded three contracts tied to the industrial park expansion in March. That work includes a new 1.5-mile access road ($3,358,728); the development of 50 acres of pad-ready sites ($1,123,796); and the Mountaintop Beverage pad project ($5,107,581).

“The developer anticipates the expansion of the Industrial Park and construction of the new beverage manufacturing facility to create over 75 temporary construction jobs resulting in the development of over $125 million of land and building construction,” the report states. “The new beverage manufacturing facility is anticipated to create 75-100 new jobs in Monongalia County.”

The scheduled completion of the facility is projected for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Further, impact studies ahead of the construction of a new Harmony Grove/River Road overpass off I-79 are about 75% complete and the proposed design alternatives are in a second review process.

The developer, Enrout Properties, expects the studies to wrap up this year with a decision regarding the interchange coming in the first half of 2022.

Other information in the report includes:

Mon Health Medical Center has realized significant growth during the previous calendar year, with operating income jumping from $197 million in 2020 to $290 million in 2021 (in approximate numbers). Further, salaries and benefits increased from $84 million to $136 million.

The Monongalia General Hospital TIF — which built Mon General Drive and expanded Maple Drive — continues to grow as a long-term land lease within the district has been agreed to ahead of potential development across from HealthWorks Rehab and Fitness.

In addition, a former lot within the district is now a 12,000-square-foot commercial building that is home to two companies — Northwestern Mutual Life and Mountaineer Roaster Coffee. Two-thirds of the building remains available for lease.

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, the University Town Centre TIF saw the creation of more than 500 full-time jobs with the opening of two car dealerships, a dental clinic, a bank branch, a convenience store, a quick-service restaurant, and a home improvement superstore.

The WestRidge development has about 600,000 square feet of office, retail and distribution complete or under construction, with another 500,000 square feet in various stages of planning, design and negotiation.

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