Strategic planning meeting held in McDowell Co. to address infra - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Strategic planning meeting held in McDowell Co. to address infrastructure needs

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WELCH, WV (WVVA) -

Friday afternoon, local and state leaders met at the McDowell County Courthouse annex to discuss the formation of a strategic plan for the benefit of the county.

State Sen. Chandler Swope who represents McDowell County, spoke to around 100 people, outlining the need for infrastructure improvements for the state's poorest county.

Swope says there is momentum in efforts to cleanup, and rebuild McDowell County, including with the growth of the tourism industry, but in order for that segment of the economy to pick up, McDowell County has to address some key issues, including drinking water, sewer and waste disposal, abandoned structures, and attaining broadband internet access.

"Tourism can't grow if there are abandoned houses, with trashy scenes and no basic infrastructure,” Swope said. “No water, no sewer, tourism can't grow, so it's just as critical as ever to fill these needs."

Swope says this, of course, will not be an overnight fix, but believes with the right amount of community engagement, the area can begin to see real improvements in just a few years.

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