By ANDREA LANNOM
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and Gov. Jim Justice recommended seven projects totaling nearly $3 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission Investment Program.
Of those projects, the governor recommended Active Southern West Virginia, serving Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas and Summer counties, to receive $199,190, and a jobs program that serves Wyoming and Greenbrier counties along with others to receive $130,000.
Thrasher recognized applicants for the grants in a Tuesday ceremony at the Capitol. Those representing the agencies for the projects were given a certificate of recognition.
Thrasher said the program received $30 million in requests.
West Virginia’s ARC program is a partnership of federal, state and local participants that provides financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects. Projects have benefitted residents in all 55 counties, Thrasher said.
“For over 50 years, the Appalachian Regional Commission has invested to transform Appalachian communities and helps the region achieve economic parity along with the rest of the nation,” he said. “We are making a step toward those goals.”
Projects forwarded to ARC for final approval include:
— Active Southern West Virginia, $199,190 requested for the Making Southern West Virginia Active program: to provide funding for workplace wellness and community-based healthy living and eating programs. The project area encompasses Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers counties.
— Jobs for West Virginia Graduates, Inc., $130,000 requested: to provide specialized instruction and guidance including tutoring and mentor services and career development training to at-risk high school students. The project is estimated to serve 175 students in Greenbrier, Wyoming, Cabell, Randolph, and Lincoln counties.
— YMCA of Kanawha Valley, $275,000 requested for an Upper Kanawha Valley YMCA Initiative: to provide start-up funding, including equipment and personnel costs, to create a new regional YMCA center in Montgomery.
— Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Mineral County, $100,000 requested for nursing simulation lab equipment.
— Other projects recommended are: $96,000 for the Region 7 Planning and Development Council for a sewer infrastructure mapping project for Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Randolph, Tucker and Upshur counties; $679,000 for the Town of Gilbert for the River Bend Road Waterline Extension; $800,000 for the City of Spencer for wastewater system improvements; $316,000 for the Cowen Public Service District for the Webster County High School water tank replacement; and $240,000 to the Calhoun County Commission for the Calhoun County Park Star Park improvements.
“These projects will not only address many of our community and economic development needs in the state but also take advantage of our assets so that we can continue to grow our economy,” Justice said in a release. “We are pleased to have such a strong commitment from ARC and our local and regional partners to ensure a brighter future for West Virginia.”
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