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City seeks to market itself to Dominion

by James Fisher

STAFF WRITER

Business and local government officials met Wednesday night to discuss how Clarksburg can be marketed to both Dominion Resources Inc. as well as other potential new companies in the area.

Last week, Dominion Resources Inc. completed its $9 billion purchase of Consolidated Natural Gas Co., creating the largest fully integrated electric power and natural gas company in the nation.

While the merger will result in job cuts, the transition committee has yet to announce where or when those cuts will happen, a Dominion spokesman said last Friday.

"We'd like to demonstrate to CNG and to Dominion that this is a good place to be," said Clarksburg City Manager Tom Vidovich. "We need to put our best foot forward and say to Dominion Resources that this is a good place to live and do business."

According to the agenda for Wednesday's meeting of the Community Showcase Committee, city and community representatives plan to meet with officials from Dominion Resources in the coming month. The presentation may decide what, if any, changes are made regarding company personnel in Clarksburg.

"When the merger was announced, the mayor and city manager felt it would be in our best interest to look at what value-added service the city could supply," said Council member Jim Hunt. "Any company that's in the city today deserves the city's attention. If all it takes is to vacuum the red carpet and put our best foot forward, then it's in the city's best interest."

In addition to city officials, the meeting was attended by representatives from several local business and service agencies, including the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, Harrison County Development Authority, West Virginia Job Service and Allegheny Power.

"Our basic goal is to develop a network of resources that we can pull together to present to companies like Dominion," said Clarksburg Economic Development Director Jeff Mikorski. "We want to show the positive aspects of the city and that each organization can provide to that package of information to help companies decide to come here."

Committee members discussed several of the steps outlined in the agenda to accomplish those goals and set the next meeting for 6 p.m. Feb. 16 in City Hall.

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