Council approves purchase of 155 acres in Pulaski
By WILLIAM PAINE
The Pulaski Town Council agreed to purchase 155 acres of land within the town limits of Pulaski for the price of $1.2 million.
The property, which had been owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, was put on the market in November 2023.
At the Town Council’s first meeting in November, a motion was made to give Town Manager Darlene Burchum the authority to draw up a contract for the purchase of this property. All council members voted in favor of the motion except Councilman Greg East, who voted nay.
The 155 acres of undeveloped land lies across from Memorial Square and behind LewisGale Hospital Pulaski, bordering Memorial Drive and several sections of Pepper’s Ferry Road, extending all the way to Lee Highway.
The deal for the purchase of the land was finalized on Thursday Dec. 14, 2023.
When asked why town leadership decided to purchase the property, Town Manager Darlene Burcham replied.
“We want the town to grow and to be able to make the town grow, we have to put that 155 acres to work, either as commercial property or residential property,” said Burcham. “It’s sitting there unimproved and has been for years.”
According to town officials, the purchase for $1.2 million was made possible through the growth of the town’s General Fund undesignated fund balance over the last several years. So, no debt was issued in making this purchase.
How this large swath of undeveloped land will be purposed is, as yet, undetermined.
“We will hire a consultant to do a master plan for the acreage involved,” said Burcham. “I expect that would take 12 to 18 months for decisions to be made about how they would want that property to be developed.”
“Generally, you would do a master plan, to decide what portions of the property you want developed in a certain way,” Burcham continued. “You need to decide if you need more of X or more of Y and then based on that master plan, you go out looking for a developer.”
The town will soon issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a consultant firm to complete a master plan for the property. This will subsequently be presented to the council for their approval but this will not likely take place until sometime in 2026.
This 155-acre property is one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land within the town limits and lies mostly within the confines of a residential section of town. The topography of the property contains many dips and rises with its highest point reaching 2143 in elevation near its border at Lee Highway. The Tax map ID number for this parcel is 063- 42- 1063- 42- 1 and can be viewed on the Pulaski County Treasurer’s website.
When the master plan is completed and approved, Town officials believe developers and investors will be attracted to this centrally located property and this will, in turn, increase the town’s tax base by providing new residences, businesses and jobs to the community.
According to a statement provided by the Town of Pulaski, “The council is thrilled to have this opportunity to invest in the town’s future.”