Gov. Jim Justice has announced over $18.1 million in Appalachian Regional Commission grant funding recommendations for 14 projects in communities across West Virginia.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.
West Virginia’s ARC grant program, which is managed by the State Development Office, provides financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects through a partnership of federal, state, and local participants.
“We truly appreciate all of the people and entities that have come together to make the funding for these projects a reality,” Gov. Justice said. “Whether they are providing leadership training to our people, financial or technical assistance to our businesses, renovating dilapidated buildings, providing much-needed infrastructure improvements in areas that haven’t seen them in awhile, and more, these projects are going to bring all kinds of goodness to West Virginia.
“I’d also like to recognize Gayle Manchin’s efforts as federal co-chair of the ARC,” Gov. Justice continued. “I know that Gayle loves West Virginia just like I do, and so I applaud her for helping secure this funding that will provide our people, businesses, and communities a leg-up. It’s my honor to be able to award this funding for over a dozen very worthy projects.”
The ARC grants, totaling $18,134,694, will leverage an additional $22,230,299 from other funding sources, bringing the total amount of funding supporting these projects to $40,364,993.
Grants are awarded in two categories: Area Development, where funding can be spent in any county, and Distressed Counties, where funding can only be spent in areas officially designed as “distressed” by ARC – census tracts in at-risk and transitional counties that have a median family income no greater than 67% of the U.S. average and a poverty rate 150% of the U.S. average or greater.
Recommended projects included an allotment of $2,964,995 to the Clay County Commission for the following project: Big Otter/Nebo/Walker Road Waterline Extension.
“The project will provide potable water to over 80 residences, businesses and churches along Route 16 the northern part of Clay County, including Big Otter, Nebo, and Walker Road. This project will provide increased fire service pressure to the Big Otter Elementary School, who currently provides their own fire suppression tank. The extension will also serve Walker Creek Farms, a resort with cabins, restaurant, and other amenities. Project complements tourism development from the Elk River Trail and is in an ARC-designated distressed county.”