Mercer County Economic Development Authority gets $1 million for natural gas project

Jan. 25—PRINCETON — A $1 million check presented Tuesday to an economic development agency was the final piece of funding needed for a project that's bringing natural gas to a Mercer County industrial park and property along John Nash Boulevard.

In August 2022, the Mercer County Commission approved a $1 million American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant for the Mercer County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA). The grant is helping pay for extending a natural gas pipeline to the Cumberland Industrial Park near Bluefield.

Frank Brady, chairman of the Development Authority of Mercer County, accepted the grant check Tuesday during a county commission meeting.

"It rounds out all the funding that we need to complete the natural gas project to run from Exit 1 to out to the industrial part at the end of John Nash," Brady said after the presentation.

Several sources are helping pay for the natural gas extension. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., helped obtain a large part of the funding.

"The county is a million dollars," Brady said. "The state is $2 million, and Shelley Moore Capito got us a grant for $3 million," Brady said. "It's a $6 million project."

Brady said getting the project underway will benefit not only local economic development, but the residents living around John Nash Boulevard as well.

"Well, natural gas now ends at Exit 1," he stated. "This will cross over Interstate 77 and run all the way out to the industrial park at the end of John Nash Boulevard, providing gas, natural gas, for residents along John Nash while also providing us the opportunity for development because manufacturers and would be developers are always looking for that now. It will increase the value at the industrial park."

Work on extending the pipeline could begin soon.

"We expect — it's through the Department of Energy — so we expect them to give us the permission to start spending money; so we have Thresher Engineering working on the project that we hope to be underway within a couple of weeks, Brady said.

A completion date had not been set as of Tuesday. This will depend on what engineers see between Exit 1 and the industrial park, he said. Getting the last of the funding is a big step forward.

"It's absolutely terrific. I've been involved in this project for over seven years and watched it go from $2 million to $5 million to get it done, but this will be such a blessing for the area and for development," Brady said.

County Commission President Bill Archer and Commissioner Gene Buckner made the presentation. Commissioner Greg Puckett was attending a state County Commission Association meeting in Charleston.

"I think the potential for growth at the Cumberland Industrial Park is also be enhanced if perspective owners would come in there because they have natural gas now," Archer said. "We're also getting broadband out there, too, so we're starting to put the things together out there to make that site a lot more appealing to investors."

— Contact Greg Jordan at

Contact Greg Jordan at