Urban Renewal Authority

The Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority (FCURA) strives to aid in the economic growth and vitality of the county through redevelopment efforts including, but not limited to, infrastructure improvements and removal of blighted structures.


FCURA holds regular meetings on the second Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commission Chambers.

Fayette County Courthouse
100 North Court Street
Fayetteville, WV 25840


NRCF-Logo-CMYK-Red.jpgNew Roots Community Farm (Former Whitlock Farm) 

New Roots Community Farm is an invitation to everyone to come together in the name of good food. This project offers access to locally grown food, an opportunity for businesses to begin or expand farming operations, vocational training for new farmers, community garden space, an event center, and a local food distribution site. This farm is rooted in local tradition, heritage, and history. We believe it is important to know where we came from on our journey to where we are going. We invite you to join us as we develop a community focused farm.

The Resource Coordinator's Office manages the farm. This includes but is not limited to program planning, infrastructure development, apprenticeship program, community engagement, crop planning and planting, land leasing, local food distribution hub, and fall harvest.

New Roots Community Farm is made possible by the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority, the Fayette County Commission, Fayette County Farmland Protection Board, and the Resource Coordinator’s Office. 

​Wolf Creek Business Park

Sustainable Living. The outdoors as your backyard. Shopping amenities at your fingertips. 

Wolf Creek Park is a thousand-acre mixed-use planned development, with specific areas of the park designated for commercial development, residential development, environmental education, and recreation. With nature at your doorstep and entertainment in your backyard, Wolf Creek Park serves as the only sustainably practicing mixed-use development of its kind in West Virginia. 

Wolf Creek Park is made possible by the Fayette County Urban Renewal AuthorityFayette County CommissionNew River Gorge Regional Development Authority, and the Resource Coordinator’s Office. 


The definition of broadband is Internet service that is faster than traditional dial-up Internet access. Higher speed Internet service will provide local businesses, healthcare, students, and new businesses desired services such as online video, streaming media, VoIP (Voice over Internet Phone), interactive sites, and secure business applications. Fayette County will be able to attract new businesses and technology-based companies looking to move to the New River Gorge region that have been unable to consider it due to the lack of Internet capacity.  

In 2018 the FCURA obtained a West Virginia CDBG grant to Study Broadband in Fayette County.  The URA hired a consultant from Roanoke, Virginia to investigate the opportunities and challenges for Broadband in Fayette County. You can read the Final Study, completed in 2019 by Design Nine. 

  • Help improve broadband mapping in our communities! Take the WV Broadband Enhancement Council's (BEC) internet speed test at https://broadband.wv.gov or call (304-588-2234) and tell the BEC, broadband is not available where you live.

FCURA Board Members

Michael D. Smith, Board Chair

Michael D. Smith is a Senior Vice President at USI Insurance Services LLC., and Board Chair of the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority. As a Registered Health Underwriter and Registered Employee Benefit Consultant for USI Insurance Services, Michael has worked with mid to large companies in all industries, including insured and self-insured groups, designing and implementing employee benefit programs for twenty-five years.

He received his Bachelors in Computer Science from West Virginia University Institute of Technology and a minor in Accounting from Concord College.

Michael strives to find balance between work life, family life, and personal life which he believes is crucial for quality of life.  “Quality of life is one of the best attributes that our community of Fayette County has to offer.” Michael volunteers on the FCURA board and in other capacities to help bring the opportunity of quality of life to others.

His personal interests include vegetable gardening, golf, skiing, biking, reading, and piddling around his hobby farm.

Jeffrey Proctor, Board Vice Chair

Jeff Proctor retired from Adventures On The Gorge July 1, 2018. Since that time, as a volunteer, he has focused his energy on expanding broadband in the State and Fayette County. In addition, Jeff is a Board Member for the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority and an active member of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council.

Jeff received his B.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana then went on to found Class VI River Runners, Inc, currently Adventure WV, LLC (known as Adventures On The Gorge). This business continues to be the best adventure resort in the Country. In 1991, Class VI won “The Entrepreneur of the Year” and in 1997 Jeff and his two partners were named one of ten “Who’s Who in West Virginia Business” by The State Journal.

Thanks to an early scouting outing with an influential camp counselor and a 500 mile canoe trip, Jeff began his passion for rivers. Currently an Eagle Scout, Jeff gives back to the Boy Scouts of America to provide positive experiences for youth.

William S. Thornton, Board Secretary & Treasurer

William Thornton is the Vice President of Civil Engineering at Terradon Corporation and serves as City Engineer for the communities of Smithers and Montgomery. Will has a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology; is a Registered Professional Engineer in WV, OH, and VA; and a Registered Professional Surveyor in WV.

Terradon is a full-service engineering firm in Nitro and is West Virginia's largest Woman Owned Engineering Firm. Will oversees projects with clients such as the WV Division of Highways, US Army Corps of Engineers, US National Park Service, along with numerous towns, cities, and private clients. These projects include infrastructure improvements, property surveying, mapping, material testing, and construction Inspection. Will has made a career of helping to improve the infrastructure to help achieve a sustainable world and raise the global quality of life.

Will, his wife Amy and their two children, Ben and Josie, live in Fayetteville. During his free time, Will likes to play outside - riding mountain bikes, hiking, playing golf. Will is also active in the Canyon Rim Rotary Club.

Gene Kistler

Gene Kistler is a Board Member of the Fayette County Urban Renewal Authority and the Wolf Creek Park Committee Chair. He received a Bachelors in Art from Roanoke College and a Masters in Environmental Planning from Arizona State University.

Since then, he has dedicated himself to building community and improving the triple bottom line – economic, social, and environmental - in Fayette County and greater West Virginia. He has held the role of builder, business owner & operator, community activist, and county volunteer. Gene is selfless with his time.

In 2012, the Access Fund awarded Gene with the Menocal Lifetime Achievement for "community leadership and longstanding commitment to local climbing advocacy and stewardship in the New River Gorge area."

To balance out all the hours spent giving back to the community, Gene enjoys the rich local art and outdoor offerings of the region. He is a long time rock climber, mountain biker, enjoys live music and participating in learning opportunities.

John Brenemen 

John Brenemen is a Fayette County Commissioner. In his day job, he works on his family’s 64-acre farm, J and K Farm in Scarbro. He is responsible for day to day operations along with managing 4 greenhouses. The farm grows anywhere from 9 to 14 acres of vegetables depending on the year. 

John has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology and an Associates in Science in Electronic Engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology. In his career as an engineer, he received various awards as a District, Regional, and training executive with several retail organizations. 

John Brenemen’s mission statement is to, “increase my knowledge so I can help others obtain chemical free produce and to help educate others from my learning by teaching them how to grow their own food.”

Outside of work John enjoys his time in his wood shop, fishing or taking classes on farming, woodworking or gardening. 

Matthew D. Wender

Matthew Wender is a retired Certified Public Accountant. Matthew received both a Bachelors in Business Administration, Major in Finance, and a Masters in Business Administration from West Virginia University. For 18 years, Matthew held a position on the Fayette County Commission, President for 10 years. During this position, he initiated numerous successful initiatives in the county as well as managed a balanced budget that provided for an efficient operation of county government.

Previously, Matthew worked as an Investment Manager for the West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust - a 21-Million-dollar venture capital fund. He was able to successfully manage a portfolio of company investments in a very challenging West Virginia economic climate. Matthew learned early on the importance of solvency and matching expenditures with conservative revenue projections.

Now Matthew enjoys the company of his family, which includes three wonderful grandchildren. He enjoys carpentry as well as spending time on his boat and at his cabin - both require all the carpentry skills he can muster. ​


The Resource Coordinator's Office supports the URA in  meeting facillitation, point of contact for the public, project support, and other business related asssitance.

Kelly Jo Drey, Fayette County Resource Coordinator
Gabriel PeñaFayette County Deputy Resource Coordinator

Contact Us

For additional information about FCURA, please contact the Fayette County Resource Coordinator Kelly Jo Drey at 304-574-4258.

West Virginia statute and code, §16-18-4, Creation of urban renewal authority.