Jefferson County Development Authority, often referred to as JCDA, plays a key role in recruiting new businesses to the county. As stated on their website, “the mission of the Jefferson County Development Authority is to provide an increased and diverse tax base for Jefferson County. The JCDA also provides new employment opportunities for our citizens through the attraction of medium sized light manufacturing and other types of business, and through the retention and expansion of existing businesses in Jefferson County.” Here at JCV we fully support attracting businesses that can increase and diversify our tax base and job opportunities while continuing to grow the county in a sustainable manner. We believe all residents deserve clean air and water – and that heavy industry has no place here and even hurts our current revenue stream which relies on tourism and the multitude of businesses that support it. We also have thriving farms and are seeing growth in agritourism. These businesses are the backbone of Jefferson County, and are areas we look forward to seeing continued growth in.
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority works in conjunction with the local JCDA to align county business recruitment and growth with the state goals. Here is where where conflict can occur. The WVEDA and JCDA were instrumental in bringing Rockwool here. WV is known to be a state friendly to heavy industry and companies that do not share our goals in the county for clean air and water. In order for us (residents of Jefferson County) to build the type of community WE desire, we need to be involved: attend key meetings, vote for candidates that are transparent and share our values, participate in the current comprehensive plan process, and make your vision for the county known.
The unexpected departure of the JCDA Executive Director Dennis Jarvis in March provided an opportunity for the county to hire a new director to help move our county forward. The new Executive Director Edwina “Eddie” Benites-LM was recently hired and can be seen attending various meetings throughout the county such as the Chamber of Commerce. As a government relations expert with 20 years of successful experience and with a masters degree in in rural development she is in a position to move this county forward. Executive Director Benitas-LM responded promptly to our request for a statement and we are excited bring it to you. We encourage you to share your vision for the county with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to attend their meetings, the JCDA Executive Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 3 pm. The full board meets the third Thursday at 3 pm. Meetings are held at 1948 Wiltshire Road Suite #4 Kearneysville, WV 25430; a Zoom option is available, and agendas are available at jcda.net. We encourage you to attend when possible and follow the topics of these meetings.