PADEN CITY - Strategically positioned along the Ohio River on the border of Wetzel and Tyler counties, Paden City likely will see lots of changes in coming years because of the natural gas rush.
However, with glass, marble and shirt manufacturers already located in city limits, Mayor William B. Fox said the city is doing pretty well now. He is looking forward to the projected new natural gas and oil-related development, though.
"We have already seen a lot of growth from the oil and gas business, and we are going to see a lot more," said Mayor William B. Fox. "Oil and gas is going to be good for this city, and we will do whatever we can to be their partners."
Those entering Paden City are welcomed by large signs on their path along W.Va. 2.
Fox said now leasing space in the city's 220,000-square-foot industrial park are oilfield services company Oil States Energy Services, as well as Chicago Bridge & Iron, the company contracted to build the Dominion Resources processing plant at Natrium in Marshall County.
"We paid $800,000 for that park, so we have a lot invested in it. It is important for us to keep as many businesses in there as possible," Fox said.
Fox knows some have concerns about the natural gas development, especially when it comes to water quality and potential traffic accident. He believes companies, namely Chesapeake Energy, are doing a good job of giving back to the communities in which they operate.
Paden City Calendar of Events
- Sept. 3, Labor Day Parade
"I know the folks out there (areas out away from the Ohio River in Wetzel County) are having some issues, especially with traffic issues. But I think the drillers are working to address these problems," Fox said.
As for the manufacturers now calling Paden City home, one is the Wissmach Glass Co., which has operated in the city since 1904. Another is Marble King Inc., which, according to its website, produces of 1 million marbles every day.
Also operating in Paden City is Carter & Mayes Shirtmakers Inc., a company selling shirts and uniforms for commercial and public users.
"Even some people who live in Paden City don't realize that we have somebody here who makes shirts," Fox said.
Fox also stressed how much pride the community has in maintaining its own high school and elementary schools. When some floated the idea of closing Paden City High School a couple of years ago - a move that would have called for Paden City's students to attend Magnolia High School in New Martinsville - Paden City residents made it clear this would not sit well with them.
"We have a lot of pride in our kids and in our school," Fox said. "When you take a community's school away from it, you take it's identity away from it."
In taking a walk through the Paden City Museum and and Cultural Center, one finds a showcase of vintage signs, clothing and memorabilia commemorating the high school's many championship sports teams.
"We are a close-knit community that has a lot of pride," Fox added.