Organizers have announced that this year’s West Virginia Brownfields Conference will be held Sept. 11-12 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Convention Center in Huntington.
The annual statewide conference is hosted by the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall University in conjunction with the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Development Office.
The conference has evolved into West Virginia’s premier redevelopment event, combining educational programming with networking opportunities for community representatives, local governments, development professionals and service providers. The program includes expert panels, interactive workshops, technical training and project case studies.
According to George Carico, director of the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at Marshall, brownfields properties can include former industrial sites, closed service stations, abandoned buildings or vacant properties. Brownfields may have potential environmental impairments but often have significant prospects for business, housing or recreational redevelopment.
The event committee has issued a call for presentations to be made at the conference. Example presentation topics include finance and funding mechanisms, liability and risk mitigation, site redevelopment strategies, and other redevelopment-related ideas, case studies and best practices. The deadline for proposals is March 3. More information about submitting a proposal is available at www.wvbrownfields.org.
“The call for presentations is a way of expanding on past conference successes, getting more communities and organizations involved, with the anticipated result being a wider variety of conference topics,” said Carico. “While we have always been diligent about bringing quality, timely and relevant information to the conference, we want to give ample opportunity for folks from across the state to provide agenda input and take part in the program.”
Carico added that the event planners are teaming up with the Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“One of our goals was to bring new visitors to Huntington and to get folks who haven’t been in a while to come back. There are a lot of good things happening here and we want people to not only participate in our conference but to take time to enjoy what Huntington has to offer,” he said.
Additional conference details, including registration information, will be available at www.wvbrownfields.org as plans are finalized.