By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
FAIRMONT — Local Main Street organizations and personnel were recognized recently by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Last week Mannington Main Street and Main Street Fairmont received awards from Tomblin and first lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. The Tomblins joined Main Street West Virginia and hosted the state’s Main Street and ON TRAC (Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity) Reception and Awards Program on June 18 in Charleston.
Mannington Main Street received third place in the Main Street Innovation Awards for its Local-Motive project. The project is to restore the historic Mannington Train Depot and use it as a small business co-op.
The Innovation Awards were given to projects that focus on creative solutions to economic restructuring within the designated commercial district.
Rana Taylor, program director of Mannington Main Street, said the nonprofit’s Local-Motive project won first place the two years prior to this year. She said working to restore the train depot is a long process and will continue to be one.
“We’re about five years out from it being completed,” Taylor said.
Recently the progress on the restoration has been mostly tedious work. Taylor said volunteers have gutted the depot and drywall has been put up on the inside.
“The next step is to put the bathrooms and the kitchen area in,” she said. “We’re going to take it back to the original.”
Taylor said Mannington Main Street will continue to look for funding for the project. With third place, the organization received $3,500, which wil go toward the renovation of the train depot.
“That will help get the kitchen and bathrooms started,” Taylor said.
Taylor said there’s still a lot of work to be done, including the ceiling that needs replaced and the 17 windows that need fixed.
“It’s going to take a while, and we know that,” she said.
Mannington Main Street also received several personnel awards from the state’s Main Street. The nonprofit’s Board Member of the Year is Jim Rigsby, Business Person of the Year is Jennifer Toothman of Mountaineer Florist, Local Public Official of the Year is Mannington Mayor Jim Taylor, and Volunteer of the Year is Melissa Toothman.
Main Street Fairmont also received personnel awards. Amanda Hatfield received Volunteer of the Year.
“Main Street West Virginia and the ON TRAC work with communities to revitalize our state’s downtown districts,” Gov. Tomblin stated in a press release. “Their efforts help to restore the sense of hometown pride and purpose, encouraging new business development and neighborhood growth.”Find the full story in Monday’s Times West Virginian, available at newsstands or through home delivery by calling 304-367-2525 or 304-367-2527.
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.