Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council Celebrates 50th Anniversary | News, Sports, Jobs

Fred Rader, director of community development for the Ohio Valley Regional Council, addressed the organization Wednesday at a special meeting to commemorate the council’s 50th anniversary at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

VIENNA – For 50 years, the Mid-Ohio Valley Area Council has helped create opportunity throughout the region.

MOVRC commemorated its 50th anniversary at a special meeting Wednesday at the Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

The organization serves Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties in West Virginia. Its objective is to use available resources more efficiently and to maximize the opportunities for local communities and public service agencies to obtain federal assistance for the economic development, construction and expansion of water and water systems. sewer, improvement of public facilities, etc.

Chairman Eric Peters said the board and its board of directors have grown significantly beyond many similar organizations in the state and elsewhere.

“We provide services beyond our eight county footprint,” he said. “We are filling the gaps for some counties that do not offer these services or that have been interrupted by their local planning and development councils.

“We are more involved in small business loan programs and have taken over the management of funds from other regional councils.”

Doing this has helped MOVRC apply for federal funds that help its loan programs.

“This has enabled us to stimulate and help existing businesses”, Peters said.

MOVRC also helps with a number of senior programs, which Peters says is also unique for a regional council.

“They reach the people who need help the most”, he said.

The council also provides help and assistance to many small communities to apply for grants and other development-oriented programs, as many small communities do not have the staff and experience to apply for grants. grants and reporting on loans for things like infrastructure projects, sewer projects and more.

“We are here to help our local governments and local communities improve their services, their local infrastructure and the business opportunities available to local citizens” Peters said.

The group heard updates from representatives of the National Association of Development Organizations on federal stimulus money; local officials on transport projects, including the new section of W.Va. 14 which should be completed in the coming months; a number of senior programs; expansion of broadband; development projects; and more.

MOVRC’s director of community development, Fred Rader, said they are currently working with local communities on 127 projects totaling $ 300 million.

“Imagine 50 years ago and you have an idea of ​​the impact of the Regional Council” he said. “Water, sewers, economic development, flood mitigation, courthouse facilities, sidewalks, streetscape, recreation, dilapidated buildings… whatever you want.

“Whatever a community needs, we try to help it, providing assistance with whatever that community needs” Rader said.

Peters looks forward to continued growth of MOVRC with the type of engagement it now has from its board members as well as the arrival of new people with new ideas and a new level of engagement.

MOVRC is structured where committee meetings last about an hour per month, which has allowed them to attract young people.

“We must develop the bench”, Peters said. “We have to get the youngest to participate and get involved.

“We ask for their enthusiasm and knowledge. I would love to see more people engaged as board members and volunteers and building the future of other people as well. “

Contact Brett Dunlap at [email protected]

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Elna M. Lemons