Click on pic for Pennington speech
Local Businessman Recognized at Wayne County EDA Meeting
The Wayne County Economic Development Authority (EDA) held a regular meeting Thursday evening, November 2, 2023. During this meeting, the members took time to give special recognition to local, longstanding businessman Tom Pennington, who was accompanied by his wife Carol. Mr. Larry Castle briefly spoke on Mr. Pennington’s behalf and invited him to accept his recognition for extraordinary service and dedication to his profession.
For more than 60 years, Tom Pennington has been doing more than just cutting hair. He has been actively involved in the community’s growth and advancement. He helped start the local radio station and get the library for the town. He was also on the board and helped the Fort Gay Mountain Heritage Day. Additionally, he was a charter member for the Fort Gay Lions Club. Mr. Pennington spoke of his accomplishments with heartwarming sincerity. He said that he hoped he was able to bring some good to community over the years.
Major Joetta Hatfield, who was also in attendance at the meeting, spoke a few words about Mr. Pennington. She stated that he had played a vital role in the community over the years and that he was a true blessing to the town of Fort Gay. She thanked him for his service and congratulated him on all his accomplishments.
The members of the Wayne County EDA also congratulated Mr. Pennington on his outstanding accomplishments and thanked him for attending the meeting.
Wayne County EDA Updates…November Meeting
The Wayne County Economic Authority (EDA) held a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was held at Fort Gay Town Hall 3407 Wayne Street, Fort Gay, WV. In attendance were board members Larry Castle, Joetta Hatfield, Sara Chapman, Donna Vineyard, David Lieving, Tim Burgess, Shane Dillon, and Adam Phillips.
Members joining by phone were Mitzi Russell, Todd Alexander, Park Ferguson, Pat Tooley, and Mark Morgan.
Mr. Castle called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm and asked all in attendance to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Castle proceeded with roll call among members. He then introduced a special guest, Mr. Chris Wilson, and opened the floor up to him. Mr. Wilson, who is the pastor at Salt Petre Church proceeded to give an update on the property that the church purchased from the EDA a few years ago. Since the time of the purchase, Mr. Wilson said that the church was able to organize a kickball tournament among other local churches to bring them together; the church has held two very successful trunk or treat events serving hundreds of children; the church held a back to school event which furnished about 175 children with new school supplies; they held a summer celebration and vacation bible school events and brought in local food trucks and they set off a large fireworks display. He mentioned upcoming plans for the buildings and property that had been purchased. Mr. Wilson closed his update, saying he hopes that the church becomes a bright light among the community.
Mr. Castle then acknowledged the special guests who were in attendance. These guests included Tom Pennington, Carol Pennington, Connie Castle, Emma Thompson, and myself.
Mr. Castle turned the meeting over to David Lieving. Mr. Lieving asked the members to look over the Secretary’s report from the previous meeting. He presented the minutes and asked for a motion to accept. All members voted to accept the minutes and the meeting continued. Mr. Lieving presented the WCEDA with the financials. He discussed the current balance and that some funds had been moved to a CD. He also covered the most recent expenses that had accrued during the previous months. Mr. Castle asked for a motion to approve the financial report. Joetta Hatfield made the motion, and it was seconded by Sara Chapman.
The meeting was opened to fellow committee members who gave updates about ongoing and future projects throughout Wayne County. Adam Phillips detailed some exciting upcoming prospects involving the Huntington Tristate Airport, revitalizing a grocery store in Dunlow, and several more. Some of the projects mentioned were the ongoing wastewater project in the town of Wayne. Pat Tooley said that the first phase of the project had been approved and they were moving ahead with the plans. She also brought up the town’s plan for the Christmas season such as the parade. Joetta Hatfield shared her excitement for the town of Fort Gay. During the past few months, Fort Gay had its largest turn out for the Mountain Heritage Day events as well as the recent Trunk or Treat that was sponsored by Coalfield Development. She also thanked Mr. Wilson and the church for helping with that event. She added that upcoming events would include the annual tree lighting ceremony. She also expressed her excitement that the renovations of the old Fort Gay High School would be completed quickly and that she can’t wait to move the city offices into the newly renovated building. David Lieving talked about a new business, Smitty B Honey, that relocated to Prichard. The business is trying to strike up a deal with Smithfield located in Grayson, Ky. They hope to provide honey for Smithfield’s honey hams. Shane Dillon discussed plans to work with local schools and colleges to steer people towards working in trades skills.
The meeting moved on to discuss old business. The members revisited their agreement to fund the purchase of two portable toilets for the Crum Bypass Swap Meet that takes place on the 1st and 3rd weekend of each month. The members reviewed the invoices and approved the funding.
Once everyone had discussed the old business, Mr. Castle moved on to the new business for the evening, which was to recognize Tom Pennington who has been an outstanding member of the Fort Gay community. Mr. Pennington has been involved in the town of Fort Gay for over 60 years. Not only was he the local barber, but Mr. Pennington also had a hand in the growth and development of many organizations in the community. Mr. Castle presented Mr. Pennington with the award and Mayor Joetta Hatfield thanked him for all his contributions and called him a true blessing to the town of Fort Gay.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:54. After the meeting, Mayor Hatfield took members to the Fort Gay Lock and Dam building for a private tour. Mrs. Hatfield gave a detailed tour of the building and its rich history. Members were welcome to view the locks and dam from the upstairs balcony and, even though it was dark, Mr. Hatfield still expressed her excitement for the beauty of it.
Mayor Hatfield thanked those of the members that attended the private tour and wished everyone a save journey home.
Wayne County Economic Development Authority
Board Meeting Agenda
November 2, 2023
Call to order 6:00 PM
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Roll Call
- Introduction of Guests
- Secretary’s Report
- Financial Report
- Committee Updates
- Partner Organization Updates
- Community Updates
- Town of Wayne
- Fort Gay
- Director’s Report
- Old Business
- New Business
The next Wayne County EDA Board Meeting will be held December 21, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. at the WCEDA building located at 524 Hendricks St, Wayne, West Virginia.