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University Town Centre economic district sees 60% jump in revenue

MORGANTOWN — The University Town Centre Economic Opportunity Development District, which includes the WestRidge developments and a portion of the University Town Centre, generated $9,496,374.62 in taxes on $158,272,910 in sales revenue in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Monongalia County Commissioner Sean Sikora said those numbers represent a $3.5 million, or 60%, jump over 2020-21, which was expected given the new stores that have come online.

“This is as planned. It’s a tiny bit over what we had projected, but it’s right there,” Sikora said.

Those sales tax collections are used to pay off bonds sold in order to develop the district.

The 60% increase over last year’s take of $5,938,971.92 is the largest since 2018-19, when the district realized a 166% jump. Even in the height of COVID impacts on retail during the 2019-20 fiscal year, the district saw a 1.95% increase in collections.

In other commission news, the body approved a letter of support for an AMLER, or Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization, grant application submitted by the City of Morgantown.

Morgantown Communications Director Andrew Stacy said the city is applying for $6 million to assist with the removal of coal located in and around the Morgantown Municipal Airport runway extension project, as well as the I-68 Commerce Park property.

Also on Wednesday, Monongalia County Assessor Mark Musick said his office will begin accepting online payments for dog tags, sheep/goats and farm-use vehicles beginning July 1.

The assessor’s office will also begin accepting card payments in person at that time.

“This is something we’ve been working on for the past couple years,” Musick said, adding “We’re excited about it.”

There will be a $1.50 transaction fee for card payments, all of which goes to the processing system provider.

Lastly, the commission approved use of the courthouse square for Monday’s West Virginia Day event and noted county employees will enjoy a four-day weekend following Gov. Jim Justice’s proclamation that Friday is a state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth, which is Sunday.

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