KIMBALL, WV (WOAY) – The town of Kimball has been searching for ways to improve its industry. A big step in that task commenced this week, as the first round of demolishing abandoned homes was set into motion.
“We’re trying to improve the overall appearance of our town because we’re trying to do some economic development,” said Kimball Chief of Police S.P. “Pat” McKinney. “Kimball is still very harmed by the fact that we lost the Wal-Mart, which was our main industry. So we’re trying to get some new industry in here, and improving the appearance of the town is part of those efforts.”
That Wal-Mart, which closed its doors more than four years ago, resulted in 140 jobs lost. In some ways, Kimball is still trying to make up for that loss. The grant money that it was afforded could go a long way towards boosting the economy, as well as development down the rod.
“Using this round of grant money, what we’re doing is we’re taking these down with the County escivator,” McKinney said. “We’re loading them in a dump truck, hauling them to the landfill in Caples, Copperage Landfill, where the material is being disposed of. And then once the sight is cleared off, then those sites may be developed, plus it reduces all of the risks that the hazards have just cost.”
Despite the first round of demolitions having just begun, McKinney already has his eyes set down the road regarding what the entire project could mean to Kimball. He’s not the only one, as Mayor Adam Gianato is also working hard to bring this long-time goal to fruition.
“When this round of grant money is spent, Mayor Gianato, who, part of his platform was to get rid of these buildings, he’s still got more money coming, and there will be more demolitions later,” McKinney said. “This is the first round of demolitions.”