By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
The question: Is the state favoring the Regional Technology Park in South Charleston with millions of dollars a year, while Marion County’s I-79 Technology Park is getting the short shrift?
Or, is comparing the state-owned and run Regional Park to the Fairmont park “comparing apples to oranges”?
The I-79 Technology Park is being left out of much-needed state dollars in favor of a technology park in Charleston, say members of the Affiliate Leadership Council, which represents more than 140 members of the high-tech community in North Central West Virginia.
They say the Regional Technology Park in Charleston receives millions as a line item, while the Marion County park receives a quarter of a million from a grant.
ALC board member John Dahlia of Global Science & Technology Inc. said the group has sent letters to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the state House and Senate, wanting to know why.
“We get about $240,000 a year,” Dahlia said. “We’re very gateful to get any support from the state. The park here has been extraordinarily successful. It’s clearly in the growth mode, bringing billions of dollars into the state.
“The park in Charleston, frankly, you can’t compare. The money is used to just keep the lights on. To our knowledge, and I hope I’m wrong, they have an exorbitant amount of buildings not at code that need maintenance. But there’s no development.