The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority has awarded Persinger and Associates of Charleston, West Virginia, the bid for the design and construction of the proposed aquaponics project for $1.728 million.
MCRA Executive Director Leasha Johnson made that announcement at the regular meeting on Thursday afternoon. The long-awaited project will be located on the old Burning Creek Mine property inside the Kermit city limits. Johnson said three bids were accepted. One bid could not be considered since it came in past the advertised deadline.
Courtney Persinger, a Williamson native, operates the Charleston company, which specializes in commercial construction and renovation.
There are still some permits that need to be approved at the northern Mingo County location. Johnson said a natural gas line has to be relocated and that Persinger and Associates can start clearing some of the property. The main part of the project will hopefully begin the first of April 2019.
Sprouting Farms, which is headquartered in Talcott, West Virginia, has reached an agreement with the MCRA to manage the facility.
The multi-million dollar project is to be developed on abandoned mine land just outside Kermit that, when completed, is initially projected to employ about 12 people. The project was originally announced in 2016. It is part of the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program and the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection.
When operational, the 20,000 aquaponics facility and training center will provide 150 kilowatts of solar power, provide healthy and fresh food for local and regional consumers, and represent a model that can be implemented in other coalfield communities, officials said.
Other announcements or actions taken by the MCRA:
n Johnson updated the MCRA board on the sale of the spec house located on the new housing site along the King Coal Highway near Mingo Central High School. Ads have run in the Williamson Daily News to sell the house. There are some potential buyers that are interested.
n An update was given on the wood products plant located at the Harless Industrial Park near Holden. There is a potential new client interested in the facility owned by Mohawk Flooring.
n Progress has been made on the access road for the Twin Branch Drag Strip. Johnson is optimistic that racing could begin at that site in early summer.
n An update on the utilities for the Twisted Gun Golf Course was given to the board. Work on running power by AEP and water lines to the mountaintop location could begin later this year once certain agreements are made with landowners.