Local port authority officials give presentation

WEIRTON – Weirton Port Authority Inc. representatives gave a presentation on the organization the Weirton-Wellsburg Chapter of the West Virginia Credit Union League during a meeting Feb. 13 at Undo’s.

Chapter President Janet Stagani introduced Chair B.J. DeFelice and General Manager Jim Greco. DeFelice provided a history of the WAPA, from its conception in the late 1990s to its formal incorporation in November 2001 to today’s work in the oil and gas, transportation and communications areas.

He joined the authority in late 2009, when the board was reappointed, after six or seven years of stasis.

The board spent the first year getting the lay of the land, learning the history of WAPA, the purpose for its creation and building the required organizational structure.

The current board has professional experience in civil engineering, chemical engineering, nuclear expertise and business education and professional experience.

Over the past two years the port authority has worked to meet federal, U.S. Coast Guard and State of West Virginia objectives. Board members have sought to raise public and private funds.

Greco spoke about the technology growth the port authority board has encouraged, noting communication is an important part of economic growth.

The pair also spoke about the progress of the marine terminal and intermodal facility, both under construction in the Half Moon Industrial Park.

The port authority has secured a long-term contract with Centerpoint Terminals for support services for their tank farm and has had discussions with Shell Oil regarding intermodal services supporting their local oil and gas interests.

“With proper compliance, controls and infrastructure, this region can attract world class organizations, Fortune 500 companies,” Greco said.

“These are the companies that bring long-term secure, high paying jobs and we are only at the early stages. We have always had a geographically strategic location, which we are just beginning to capitalize on,” Greco added.