Terry Salmons and Mike Whitt with the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) were among those who traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak with Congressman Rahall.
The group talked about airport and highway infrastructure initiatives, including a unique public/private partnership brokered by MCRA with CONSOL Energy to construct a five-mile section of the King Coal Highway (KCH).
Earlier this month, Rahall’s office announced the award of a $200,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority for water and wastewater extensions that will serve the Mingo South High School and additional development sites along the King Coal Highway.
Whitt said while funding was in place to pay for water and sewage to several development sites along the KCH, he knows finding the money to finish building all the infrastructure for all the sites he hopes MCRA hopes to develop will be challanging.
“Bringing water and sewage to some of these development sites will be difficult,” Whitt said. “But we are working on it, particularly the Air Transportation Park.”
That airport facility is one of several which were built through a public/private partnership that employs post-mine-land-use. Such projects have come under fire under the current administration. The Environmental Protection Agency has delayed releasing permits on several mines that have post-mine-land-use included in their longterm plan.”
Rahall said he has been working with officials to help expedite those permits.
Also discussed was the newly-formed Mingo Central Athletic Foundation, which is working to provide a new athletic field for Mingo Central students from Gilbert, Matewan, Burch, and Williamson.
Rahall praised the work of MCRA, citing their emphasis on due diligence when working on bringing their projects to fruition.
“It is always a pleasure to meet with representatives of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority,” Rahall said. “ They do their homework and it shows. I look forward to our continuing to work together for the long-term economic development of Mingo County and Southern West Virginia.”