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Youth ag facility proposed in Harrison County


CLARKSBURG — Harrison County will get a youth farming education facility as commissioners prepared to open bids for the proposed project last week

Commissioner Patsy Trecost said the facility will be located on a portion of county-owned property at the North Central West Virginia Airport.

“FFA is very big here in Harrison County and we wanted a place to showcase our horses, cattle and livestock,” Trecost said.

Harrison County has nearly 1,000 young people involved in agriculture, but the facility would meet that and potentially draw regional shows and competitions.

Earlier this year, voters passed the Vital Services Levy making the project possible. This year commissioners have earmarked $250,000, according to Trecost.

“For three years we’ve been talking about this and for three years it was just a hope and a dream,” Trecost said. “We knew we had a levy that had to pass year because our old levy was expiring.”

Trecost said commissioners will market the remaining 40 acres citing the location near the airport, giving it potential value to a commercial or industrial developer.

“We dedicated 10 (acres) of it to this youth complex for farming and to showcase our livestock and the other 40 acres will go up for sale.”

Trecost said this project and a new facility for animal control and an ice rink are all proposed to be completed with levy funds. He said being able to provide real results that benefit the public without creating debt presents the case for renewal in another five years.

“We’re going to try to do this without accumulating any more debt,” Trecost said. “We’re not looking to create debt, we want to use the levy money over the next five years to give back to the community.”

Trecost said they are listening to voters and directing money to impact those community issues. The popularity of agriculture programs would suggest the facility will be a busy place when completed.

“We cannot pass on what the citizens are telling us they want,” Trecost said. “We as a commission don’t need to tell them what we want — we want to know what they want and make that investment back to them.”

Trecost hopes the first event at the facility will be held next summer.