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Construction Services Division

Earl C. “Bud” Atkins, founder of City Neon, Inc. was born in 1929 in Marion, North Carolina.  His family moved to Osage, WV in 1934.  He attended University High School in Morgantown, WV and graduated in 1948.  After graduation, Bud attended Coyne Electrical School in Chicago and then returned to Osage, West Virginia and married his high school sweetheart, Betty Jo Bonnett, in 1949.  The couple relocated to Bridgeport, WV where Bud began his career working for Clarksburg Neon, a sign company owned by Joe Bennett and Howard Tolliver.  A relatively short time later, he purchased the Morgantown area sales region from Clarksburg Neon and formed City Neon, Inc.  The couple moved back to Morgantown to a small trailer on Clay Street and operated City Neon, Inc. out of a basement.   Business continued to prosper as Bud began branching out around the Morgantown area and into Pennsylvania and quickly outgrew the basement.  He then built his first sign shop on Monongahela Boulevard and City Neon, Inc. which became one of the first businesses on the Boulevard.  Business continued to grow vigorously so Bud purchased land on Industrial Avenue in Star City, WV in 1956 and built a sign shop that is still thriving after more than 50 years.

Along the way, Bud expanded his business ventures into commercial property and equipment.  In 1978 he formed BB & DEC, Inc. which later became Commercial Land Development, Inc.  He purchased a large parcel of land off I-79, Exit 152, Westover, WV and developed the commercial plaza known as WesMon Plaza.  He hired his own construction crew to construct buildings in the plaza and neighboring commercial buildings, such as WesMon I and WesMon IV.  One memorable project was converting the former Morgan Heights Elementary School into the Wedgewood Family Practice office and one of his last projects was the design and construction of the Mountain State Orthopedic building located adjacent to Monongalia General Hospital.  During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Bud steadily built up his heavy equipment and crane inventory and embarked into the crane & heavy equipment industry.   In 1989, he formed City Crane & Equipment, Inc., to handle the equipment rentals, sales & service operations for this booming new venture.

Bud passed away in April of 2002, leaving behind several thriving businesses.  City Neon, Inc., owned by Bud’s daughter, Carol Atkins and her sons, has a full service sign company division that specializes in signage including banners, channel letters, box signs, billboards, messages centers, neon and beyond and a construction division that specializes in commercial and residential building.   Commercial Land Development, Inc., owned and operated by Carol Atkins and her two sons, has over 65 commercial rentals in the Westover and Morgantown area.  City Crane & Equipment, Inc. , owned by Bud’s son, David A. Atkins, has heavy equipment and crane rentals and sales with cranes ranging from 2 to 120 ton, and an experienced service and parts department.

Still family owned and operated, the family is proud to continue to provide the quality workmanship and “our word is as good as our handshake” business practices for which Bud was most renowned and respected.

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