City and county officials, hoping to keep the Department of Health and Human Resources office in downtown Clarksburg, said the Glen Elk neighborhood would be an ideal place to build a new office.
Worried about the potential loss of about 200 DHHR jobs and patronage to Clarksburg's downtown services, the officials are looking toward Glen Elk for revitalization. The current DHHR building on West Pike Street is scheduled to be vacated July 31.
Harrison County Commissioner Roger Diaz cited the old Tom's Taxi Service building, being demolished in Glen Elk, as a potential "great place" for the agency's new building. He said current revitalization in the area and adequate parking are good reasons for building the office in the location.
Clarksburg City Council member Margaret Bailey agreed, saying the current revitalization of the neighborhood, which includes new street lights and sidewalks, would make it a good area for construction.
Bailey, a member of the Glen Elk Village Development Association, said she'd like to discuss construction possibilities with the association and property owners.
Council member Terry Greaver also believes the Glen Elk site would be a good place for a new office. He feels revitalization in the area and transportation opportunities, like the Greyhound bus line service, will be helpful in getting people both in and out of the building and downtown Clarksburg.
Greaver said that the old Anchor Hocking building and the Adamston Flat area are two other potential locations for the agency.
"That's a viable spot," Greaver said of Adamston Flat. "There'd be plenty of space for parking."
The Anchor Hocking plant, which is in the process of being demolished, could house "two or three different" buildings, Greaver said.
Greaver added that as a council member, he would be in favor of exercising eminent domain if necessary. That would give city, state or county officials the right to force a landowner to sell property to provide space for expansion.
He said city council should "do whatever we need to do to keep it (DHHR) downtown."
Diaz said he hopes exercising eminent domain would only be used as a "last resort."