Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch held a ceremony to award 17 grants, worth $13,844,958 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which have been dedicated to various water/sewer and broadband infrastructure projects across West Virginia.
“The multiplier effect of that $13.8 million becomes lots and lots of dollars and so we’re really happy to be able to do this today,” Gov. Justice said. “It gives us the opportunity to make everyday life better for countless West Virginians in many ways.”
The Clay County Commission will receive $150,000 for “Clay County Phased Broadband Design.”
This project will enable the Clay County Commission to build upon its broadband feasibility study with technical project designs for broadband development. The county will proceed into a design phase of its broadband development initiative with network designs, cost estimates, and development of public-private partnerships, in eligible areas. This design phase will enable the county to pursue infrastructure funds for broadband projects that will improve connectivity for residents and businesses in low-to-moderate income areas which have poor service or no service.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides CDBG funds to West Virginia annually. The Community Advancement and Development Division of the West Virginia Development Office manages these funds.
Of the total amount, more than $11.1 million has been awarded for water and sewer projects in various counties and municipalities, which will benefit nearly 10,000 West Virginians.
Additionally, more than $2.7 million will go toward broadband projects, which will benefit a wide range of residents across nine counties.
Wednesday’s grant presentation ceremony was held virtually through videoconferencing technology.
“I wish I could be there with you in person,” Gov. Justice said. “This is not the way West Virginians do stuff. We’re a handshaking, hugging community that is a loving community and I wish to goodness that I could be there with you because today is a celebration that we all love.”