The Local Leadership Award recognizes a neighborhood, city, or county leader with a strong commitment to brownfield redevelopment. This year’s recipients are Ray Moeller and the Richwood Main Street Alliance.
The Main Street Alliance (MSA) was formed in response to several new Richwood main historic Main Street opportunities. The MSA consists of the mayor, the Richwood Building Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, a Main Street business owner and community advocate, and a local builder. A detailed plan of development was crafted and donated property has been conveyed to the Building Commission for redevelopment in downtown Richwood. A $40,000 grant was solicited and received from the Collins Foundation and restoration is underway. These buildings will provide ground for four storefronts for new business considerations on Richwood’s well-traveled main street. Working as a team, the MSA brings together key community partners in an informal but cohesive working relationship.
A key member of the Main Street Alliance, Ray Moeller came to West Virginia as a VISTA and because of his passion for the area and the people here, he decided to pursue full time employment once the VISTA position ran out. Ray has worked in Nicholas County and specifically Richwood to create many positive changes for his adopted community. He was a key player in the Blueprint Communities, helped to create a solar garden, and has been integral in addressing abandoned and dilapidated buildings through a property registration and demolition program. He helped the city receive multiple grants from the NBAC’s West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative to focus on major problem properties in town. These efforts led to the release of more than $375,000 in leins against the property, a major barrier to redevelopment. Ray’s efforts to revitalize Richwood and create economic growth have never wavered. He inspires community members, service providers, and others to continue on the path of economic growth even when it isn’t easy, to do the job at hand and move on to the next project.