Barboursville plans to grow its recreation opportunities - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Barboursville plans to grow its recreation opportunities

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JIM ROSS / For The State Journal JIM ROSS / For The State Journal
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By JIM ROSS

For The State Journal

Business and occupation taxes have been very good to the Cabell County village of Barboursville for the past 35 years. 

Commercial growth in the village has allowed for improved services, and now village officials plan to build on the village's role in recreational opportunities in the region.

The construction of a $1.6 million bridge over CSX railroad tracks allowed the village to secure the U.S. Youth Soccer eastern regional championships in 2015 and 2016. More than 5,000 players, family members, coaches and tournament officials are expected to attend the 13-state tournament for players ages 19 and younger. Organizers say the tournament will have a $14 million impact on the Barboursville, Huntington and Charleston areas.

Barboursville Mayor Paul Turman said the tournament should fill hotel and motel rooms from Ashland, Ky., to Charleston.

The tournament would not have been possible without the bridge. Then-Gov. Joe Manchin provided $400,000 in state money for the bridge. The state Senate and House of Delegates each appropriated $200,000 and the village provided the remaining $800,000, Turman said.

The Village Council recently passed a resolution naming the bridge the Mayor Paul L. Turman Sr. Bridge in his honor for working to secure funding for it.

Barboursville has about 3,900 people. Its growth in services would not have been possible without the development of regional retail centers in the past four decades.

Huntington Mall — the largest indoor mall in West Virginia — opened in 1981. The village annexed the area before construction began and has benefited from the growth in the mall area ever since. The village also added the Merritt Creek Farm shopping plaza, which has Target, Home Depot and Office Depot stores along with other stores and restaurants, about a dozen years ago.

Some businesses, such as Walmart and Cracker Barrel, are built near the mall but just outside village limits.

The village budgeted B&O collections of about $3,225,000 for this fiscal year. The total revenue budget is about $5.4 million. Turman looks forward to revenue growth next fiscal year.

"We have lots of construction still ongoing," he said.

Residential construction, particularly rental units, is going strong, Turman said.

Projects on the mayor's to-do list include finding developers for a site formerly used as a brickyard. The village purchased the property and then used its own funds plus an Environmental Protection Agency grant to remediate contamination on the site enough to allow the site to be redeveloped for commercial use, Turman said. 

The village currently is looking at offers from developers.

"I could have sold it 100 times if you could build condos or (other) housing on it," he said. "I would prefer to have commercial offices because it's a better tax base for us."

There is development going on near the brickyard, such as an assisted living facility, Turman said.

Among the projects that are in the works but still a ways off from completion is a recreation center on Farmdale Road between the downtown and residential areas and U.S. 60. Turman said he would like to see a multipurpose recreation center there, including an indoor pool.

The recreation center would cost about $10 million, he said. The village has acquired the land, and the late Buck Harless gave the village a copy of the building plans for a similar facility he built in the Mingo County town of Gilbert, Turman said.