KEYSER - Two of the available lots in the Fort Ashby Business and Technology Park has recently been sold, and Kevin Clark, executive director, made the announcement during the Tuesday meeting of the Mineral County Development Authority.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Two of the available lots in the Fort Ashby Business and Technology Park has recently been sold, and Kevin Clark, executive director, made the announcement during the Tuesday meeting of the Mineral County Development Authority.
He said that BART Industries will occupy lot number 7, and the business is a distribution center for snack foods.
Clark added that lot number 12 was purchased by IM Motors, which has expanded their business from Fort Ashby, and deals in electric motors and pump repairs and sales.
The funding from the two transactions equaled to just under $56,000, and Clark said, “None of that money comes to the development authority,” but will be used to pay down the debt from the park to the lender, which is the West Virginia Water Development Authority.
Board member Lucas Taylor said that this business deal could mean a move on the momentum for the development authority, which would “encourage other businesses” to show an interest in purchasing lots in the Fort Ashby Park.
Buck Eagle, president of the authority said about the agency, “When we are successful, everyone is successful.”
In other business, Ben Smith, mayor of Piedmont, said that he felt his community and Elk Garden in relation to development makes both areas “feel like orphans,” even though “we are both part of Mineral County.”
Eagle responded with, “This is not a Keyser Development Authority; it is Mineral County Development Authority.”
Smith spoke about the disadvantages of Piedmont by saying, “It is built on a hillside and has dilapidated buildings.”
He added that he realized Piedmont at one time had a heyday, but now, “Verso and CSX own most of the property in town.”
Saying that the city of Piedmont owns one flat lot “up on the hill,” Smith said development on that space may not happen because of the cost to create parking and handicapped accessible features.
Eagle said that small communities across the state face the same situation with the attempt to establish businesses, but what is best for the small towns is the “single entrepreneur-type businesses.”