Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


May 17, 2014

Bettering Bluewell: Association applauded for efforts

— — Members of the Bluewell Improvement Association are to be applauded for their ongoing efforts to enhance one of Mercer County’s busiest communities. And their latest project — a push to expand the Bluewell Kroger — is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.

The association members have been working in recent days to get signatures on a petition that is circulating across the greater Bluewell, Brushfork and Bramwell area. Not only local residents, but also out-of-town visitors who are riding the Hatfield-McCoy Trail in Bramwell, have already signed the petition, according to association member Skip Crane.

The petition correctly points out that about 13,000 vehicles travel U.S. Route 52 between Bluefield and Welch each day, and adds that the Bluewell Kroger store is the only big box store in a 30-mile stretch of Route 52. Crane said the association members are asking the Kroger corporation to consider a possible store expansion project for Bluewell — similar to the ongoing renovation and expansion project at the Kroger in Princeton.

The petition goes on to say that the opening of the new Pocahontas Trail system near Bramwell has had an immediate impact on ATV rider permit sales, bringing an increase from 5,000 permits sold during the first year of operation of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in southern West Virginia to 35,000 permits sold in 2013.

Those statistics correctly point to a significant increase in out-of-town traffic on U.S. Route 52 in Bluewell. And many of those out-of-town visitors will be stopping at the conveniently located Kroger store for food and other supplies.

The petition simply asks the Kroger company to “give serious consideration” to a store expansion as well as a possible fuel center to accommodate the additional ATV traffic and out-of-town visitors.

It’s a good, common sense, idea. And with hope the Kroger company will give this proposal meaningful consideration. In the meantime, we are glad to see that the volunteer association members are thinking outside of the box —and doing everything in their power — to help promote their community. The greater Bluewell, Brushfork and Bramwell area is an important part of Mercer County, and the region as a whole is poised for additional growth in the months and years ahead thanks to the success of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.

Considering that Bluewell is an unincorporated community, there is a great need for volunteers such as Crane who are willing to step forward and better their community. That’s why it is great to see such an active community association in the Bluewell area.

We would love to see other volunteers across the region to follow the lead of Bluewell by taking steps to better their individual neighborhoods and communities. This can be accomplished a number of ways, including neighbors helping neighbors and through the formation of new community associations.

All citizens should work toward improving their neighborhoods, communities and homes.

Text Only

What is the biggest challenge facing southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia? After voting, go to to comment.

Drug epidemic
Poor infrastructure
Economy/job losses
Unhealthy lifestyles
     View Results
Letters to the Editor