Tyler development group looks to Ohio model for success

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Tyler development group looks to Ohio model for success
Though fallen into disrepair, this remarkable landmark in rural Tyler County could still attract new development, advocates say.

A group of Tyler County residents is looking to a county in Ohio for an economic solution required to rebuild a similar historical landmark in West Virginia.

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Members of the Tyler Citizens Action Group met Wednesday at Middlebourne to discuss the success of a landmark in , that's and community center.

This restored building in Cadiz, Ohio, has served as a civic and community center since being preserved.

State officials have offered the Tyler County Commission help financing the restoration, and spokesperson Earnie Pelikan says the effort, as in Ohio, must be pursued with economic strategy.

"The state has offered to help the county secure grants to cover 50 percent of the cost, but we think that everyone can agree this has to be founded in economic viability and cannot cost taxpayers additional money," Pelikan said.

"That's our limit. It's why we want to enlist residents to build an economic engine. We need a feasibility study. It's why we're looking at the fraternal twin in Ohio. How can Tyler County do this even better?"

Pelikan says members are inviting other community groups to offer their opinions on investment and wish to open the group to members who would be interested in finding the resources to improve other historic and natural landmarks across the county.

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"We encourage everyone to consider options that would help everyone promote tourism and careful economic development—not only with regard to the Poor Farm but throughout the county," she said.

The citizen's action group has been working with the , which assessed the cost of restoration of the building to be "less than a million dollars," despite quotes that estimate the cost of a multi-million dollar remodel.

Members have also established a dialogue with the West Virginia Hub and Wheeling Heritage in an effort to help establish a plan that can benefit the county.

"It's not the time for a multi-million dollar investment," she said. "It's time to stabilize the building and determine what can be done. If Ohio can do it, we can do it better."

Plans to demolish the property have made waves across the state, culminating in in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

"The story in the Charleston newspaper attracted the attention of many at the statehouse who are watching to see what Tyler County can manage," Pelikan said.

Members of the group are scheduled to speak at the Tyler County Commission meeting this week.

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