Over 30 members of the Newell Coalition turned out Saturday to learn how they could further improve their community and ensure its future is on a forward trajectory.  The meeting was located at the Hancock County Family Support Center in Chester and was sponsored by West Virginia University Extension Service and Public Administration in an 18-month-program entitled “Moving Ahead Together.”

WVU Extension Agent Zach White coordinated the program locally and said the meeting gave the Newell community members the opportunity to share their stories and engage in meaningful conversation about the future of their area.

Joining members of the Newell Coalition to help move their community forward were members of the  Newellies 4-H Club who said they stand ready to help in any way they can.   A wide variety of residents were on hand from senior citizens to young mothers with children. There concerns were varied, but in one area there was consensus….they want a brighter future for Newell and they are willing work togethe to make it happen.

One gentlemen said the allies in Newell are a problem as are abandoned and junk cars which sit in the alleys and impede traffic through the alley.  It especially concerns him in the event a fire truck or police cruiser should have to navigate the narrow roads.

Bevv Enochs said the problem of dilapidated buildings is a major problem in the unincorporated community.   She was excited to learn about the BADD Buildings program which provides grants and technical assistance.

The aim of the project for WVU and its students in relevant programs is not to fund projects, but to provide the technical assistance to facilitate the programs and/or grants.

Enochs said Newell is not municipality, meaning they cannot write or receive grants to help tackle some of the eyesores.  She said she is confident the Hancock County Commissioners, however, will be supportive in assisting in any way they can,

Those in attendance were a survey to complete to rate the areas they want to improve..  The results will be made available in the near future so that an action plan can be developed.

Those seeking more information on the plan should contact White at 304-564-3805.