U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Wednesday that the department's Economic Development Administration is awarding $6.7 million in grants to West Virginia to support local business development and job growth efforts - and one of the grants will be awarded to Logan County.
The EDA grants announced Wednesday will involve six projects in West Virginia, spanning McDowell, Harrison, Logan, Mercer, Lincoln and Wayne counties.
In Logan County, the Buffalo Creek Public Service District, of Amherstdale, will receive $1.5 million to support a sanitary sewer collection system that will adjoin the newly constructed four-lane highway from Logan to Man. The improvements also will assist with the continued development of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.
According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 250 jobs and spur $10 million in private investment.
The project was developed in cooperation with the EDA-supported Economic Development District, Region 2 Planning and Development Council. It is being funded under the 2018 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2108) program, which the EDA says will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities. More information on the ACC can be found at https://www.eda.gov/coal/.
"I've always said that economic growth starts at the local level, which is why it's important that we continue working to revitalize and support our small communities in West Virginia," Capito said upon announcement of the grants. "I am thrilled that the EDA has decided to once again invest in our state. Not only will these investments lead to more than a thousand new jobs for West Virginians looking for work now, but they will also lead to significant private investment that will benefit the region's economy over the long term."
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R) expressed similar sentiments.
"We're extremely pleased that the EDA is funding these projects in West Virginia," Justice said. "It will not only improve the quality of life for our citizens, but it will provide opportunities for economic development as we continue to grow and move forward in West Virginia."
The EDA has invested in 35 projects in the state that total $34,158,861. The EDA says these projects are proposed to create roughly 2,872 jobs, retain 1,669 jobs and impact nearly every county in the state.
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.