LOGAN, W.Va. — During his keynote remarks at the community roundtable on revitalizing the coalfields held at the Chief Logan State Park Convention Center Friday, April 1, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin explored the economic possibilities surrounding the former Hobet mine site.
Gary White, former president and consultant for Marshall University, and Tom Clarke, with the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF), joined Tomblin on the stage producing holistic discussion on a range of topics.
“Southern West Virginia is my home, but it is home to many of you also. We’ve talked…about diversifying our economy…Growning up here from the time I was a young boy, I saw the coal industry go up and down…,” Tomblin commented. “When things went down we started seeing our friends and family leave…”
Tomblin noted the constant fluctuations in the coal market will eventually swing back up; however, he added no one was under the illusion the coal market would return to levels it achieved even eight to 10 years ago.
VCLF acquired most the former Hobet property in the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal and has since continued work in reclamation and site preparation.
Tomblin added businesses of any size could be accommodated at the Hobet site as its 12,000 acres are large enough to support the state’s industrial operations of Toyota, Proctor and Gamble, Gestamp, Macy’s and Amazon with thousands of acres remaining for further development.
The site’s access to transportation infrastructure was also noted by Tomblin as a part of its appeal.
“Any business that comes…We can say we’ve got an acre of land for you. We’ve got 50 acres or land. We have 150 acres of land. We have 500 acres of land. What do you need? We can have it for you. We can get it prepped for you and ready to go,” added Tomblin.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]