RANSON, WEST VIRGINIA. Today, the Jefferson County Board of Education released a letter rejecting the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreement (PILOT) scheme to subsidize Rockwool's planned heavy industrial plant located near four public schools.
"We are so grateful to the Board of Education for listening to the concerns of thousands of Jefferson County residents who are opposed to the construction of a large scale industrial facility in the heart of our school growth zone," said Amanda Foxx, a Jefferson County Vision board member and North Jefferson Elementary parent. “The way the state brought Rockwool into Jefferson County failed our community. The PILOT process provided the public and the Board of Education with no information about the environmental and safety impact of Rockwool’s operations. And the City of Ranson gutted zoning protections for nearby schools without providing lawful public notice.”
"Rockwool has been repeatedly asked to pause construction while the environmental concerns can be evaluated, yet the company continues to act in complete disregard to the reasonable concerns of our citizens," Foxx added. "By abandoning the plan for an independent health assessment, Rockwool has demonstrated yet again that it will not be a good neighbor. Citizens keep speaking loud and clear on this issue. The midterm elections brought a sweeping victory of new officials opposing Rockwool. The JCDA architects of the PILOT have resigned. Town after town in West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland have issued resolutions opposing its construction. Today, the Board of Education took a tremendous step to protect our children. Our message is resoundingly clear: Rockwool is not a proper fit for Jefferson County and should take its business elsewhere."
Jefferson County Vision is committed to protecting the economy and quality of life in Jefferson County, and has filed several lawsuits, including a challenge to the constitutionality of the PILOT agreement-- the same agreement which the Board of Education rejected today. The complete letter that the Jefferson County Board of Education issued to Rockwool can be found below.
LINK to BoE Letter (image)
We are now a non-partisan, non-profit organization called Jefferson County Vision that is working to protect and improve the quality of life in our community.