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City of Martinsburg Plans for an Economic Development

Officials in Martinsburg think their city is capable of much more. They say the city has a lot of room for growth economically, and over the past few months they have been working with Jay Garner, an economic development strategy expert to develop a plan.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - City officials in Martinsburg are taking steps to bring in more economic development, now partnering with an economic development group to come up with ideas. On Wednesday, the firm made its' preliminary presentation to the city and local business leaders.

Officials in Martinsburg think their city is capable of much more. They say the city has a lot of room for growth economically, and over the past few months they have been working with Jay Garner, an economic development strategy expert to develop a plan.

"Our strategy will make this community a better place to live and work," said Garner. "Some people may think some of those recommendations are radical. Some may think they are not strong enough, so we think we put together a balanced set of recommendations, to make Martinsburg a better community."

Garner is from Berkeley County. He spoke to political officials and community leaders about his concepts. He says the notions are all about helping everything in the city, by highlighting the strengths of the areas and community coming together to work on the weaknesses.

"Some of those strengths relate to their schools and school system itself," said Garner. "Others relate to quality of life in Martinsburg. Some of the challenges are we need to work to raise the income level in this community, and there are some crime issues that need to be addressed."

Local officials are happy with the economic direction.

"This has to be a comprehensive community effort, everybody has a piece of the pie and puzzle," said Mark Baldwin, City Manager of Martinsburg. "I think we will see that at a later date, I think we have the people in this community, that's been in business for a long time, been a part of organizations. We are going to pull those resources together, we are going to have a nice plan and be able to move forward."

Garner Economics will make its final presentation to the Martinsburg City Council on January of next year.

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