Region VII Planning and Development Council sees revenue bump in 2021

BUCKHANNON – The Region VII Planning and Development Council has been involved with $46 million worth of projects in Upshur County since the summer of 2021.

Shane Whitehair, executive director of the Region VII Planning and Development Council, attended the Oct. 13 Upshur County Commission meeting to keep the commissioners informed about the work his organization has been working on in the last year.

“I’m trying to go out and see everybody, to update them on our activities and the things that we’re doing in our office for your communities, as well to provide an update of what we’ve done over the last year,” Whitehair said. “We have seven full-time staff. We can’t do anything and everything, but we try to keep our hands involved in a lot of activities, especially from the community and economic development side and helping all the local governments and ancillary agencies within our seven counties.”

Region VII added a grant writer to their staff last year, who has been working on finding funding for local government entities.

“She’s been intimately involved with the City of Buckhannon and the event coming up in July,” Whitehair said, referencing the World Association of Marching Show Bands competition. “She’s done multiple applications for them, trying to access additional funds from federal programs and state programs. She also obviously helps with a lot of the projects that we deal with on a regular basis — water, sewer, broadband, things of that nature.”

In the past year, Region VII’s revenue increases to more than $800,000.

“Our revenues generally from the last 10 years are around half a million to $700,000, but this past year, we went over $800,000 — almost $850,000,” Whitehair said. “Project administration is the biggest revenue generator for our agency. What that means is, for all the projects that we help get funded, we manage those projects for a fee, and what that does is allows us to have the ability to hire more staff. Then we can help more on the front end of the projects, where we don’t necessarily get a lot of funding to cover all of our expenses.”

Region VII also receives about $35,000 a year from the State of West Virginia.

“I think there are opportunities there to increase that percentage; that number has been the same since around 2005,” Whitehair said. “If you look at the investments that our local governments make in our agency, and other federal agencies, that is extremely low, so we’re working on that try to increase that number.”

Whitehair also explained how local assessment dues work.

“Those are statutorily required,” Whitehair said. “My council is responsible for setting a rate that our member governments pay based on population. The most recent decennial population data is what it’s based on, and our council periodically reviews that. Right now it’s $1 per person, so right now Upshur County contributes $27,000 roughly to our agency.”

Whitehair said they are currently managing $33 million worth of projects in Upshur County.

“If you look at our involvement with projects in Upshur County alone, since July 1, 2021, we have been involved with developing over $46 million worth of projects, and we’re currently managing over $33 million worth of projects,” Whitehair said. “If you take those two numbers into consideration, for every dollar you invest in Region VII, you’re getting $2,900 back by receiving federal and state funds for any projects that come to fruition in this county.”



Police Crime

Florida woman arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot people in Buckhannon Pizza Hut

BUCKHANNON – A Florida woman was arrested for allegedly threatening people at the Buckhannon Pizza Hut. Deanna D. Gandee, 49, of Naples, Florida was arrested for making threats of terroristic acts, a felony. According to the criminal complaint in the […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story for our LOWEST PRICE EVER. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur receives update on polio eradication progress

BUCKHANNON – The Rotary Club has contributed more than $2.1 billion to help eradicate polio. Marty Kelley gave an update to the Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur Nov. 15 about Rotary and its efforts to eliminate polio. “I thought I knew […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story for our LOWEST PRICE EVER. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!


Three Lady Bucs earn Big 10 All-Conference postseason volleyball honors

TENNERTON – Three Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Bucs were honored on the recently announced Big 10 All-Conference Volleyball team. Senior Kendal Currence earned First Team honors while sophomore Alyssa Abel and senior Tori Perkins were named to the Second Team. The Lady […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story for our LOWEST PRICE EVER. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Upshur County Sports Calendar

MONDAY (Nov. 28) TUESDAY (Nov. 29) Basketball WEDNESDAY (Nov. 30) Basketball Swimming THURSDAY (Dec. 1) Basketball FRIDAY (Dec. 2) Basketball SATURDAY (Dec. 3) Basketball Swimming Wrestling SUNDAY (Dec. 4)

WVWC Volleyball

Volleyball Lady ‘Cats get shutout of MEC postseason honors

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Mountain East Conference announced its 2022 volleyball all-conference teams and major award winners. Wheeling setter Karly Niesen was voted the Mountain East Conference Player of the Year in 2022, while West Liberty