Justice backs projects for Appalachian Regional Commission investment

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Justice backs projects for Appalachian Regional Commission investment
The W.Va. Development Office administers financial and technical-assistance funds for development and infrastructure.

Governor Jim Justice and West Virginia Department of Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch have recommended 12 projects totaling more than $11.7 million in grants from the Investment Program.

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The West Virginia Development Office administers the state’s commission grants program, which is a partnership of federal, state, and local participants that provide financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects.

"These groups are focused on making life for West Virginians easier, and that is something I will always support," Justice said.

"I wish more than anything that I could give these grants away in person today but I just want to say how proud I am of those committed to improving our great state."

Gaunch says he's enthused about the funding, some of which will impact small businesses affected by the recent covid-virus outbreak.

"Distributing these funds to organizations who prioritize improving our state is something I truly enjoy doing," Gaunch said.

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"Some of the funds issued today will benefit small businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic."

The West Virginia Development Office administers the state’s program, which is a partnership of federal, state, and local participants providing financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects.

The following projects being recommended for ARC funding are divided into area, county, and development office categories.


AREA DEVELOPMENT

Raleigh County Memorial Airport
Airport Industrial Park Site Preparation Project
$1,750,000 (ARC Funds)
Raleigh County

The project will expand an existing industrial park located at Raleigh County Memorial Airport to allow for further business expansion. Project includes EDA funding ($1,750,000) and a combination of state and local funding ($4,862,480) for a total project cost of $8,362,480. The project will improve and make ready 105 acres at the airport for industrial and commercial use.

City of Hinton
CSO Abatement Project
$1,550,000 (ARC Funds)
Summers County

The project will address Combined Sewer Overflows and rehabilitate the sewer system in the City of Hinton. Other funding includes CDBG ($1,500,000) and DEP Clean Water Loan ($500,000). This project is included in the CDBG recommendations for this year. The project is ready to go and will benefit 1,235 existing customers.

Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council (MOVRC)
Small Business Lending (RLF)
$1,000,000 (ARC Funds)
Statewide

The project will recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund operated by MOVRC. Funds would be for working capital and business expansion. Small businesses statewide would be eligible for loans.

Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF)
COVID 19 Small Business Loan Program (RLF)
$1,500,000 (ARC Funds)
Statewide

The project will recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund operated by NCIF. Funds would be limited to working capital only. Small businesses statewide would be eligible for loans.

New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA)
COVID 19 Emergency Response Loan Fund (RLF)
$750,000 (ARC Funds)
Regional

The project will recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund operated by NRGRDA. Funds would be for working capital and business expansion. Small businesses in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers Counties only.

Woodlands Community Lenders
COVID 19 Relief and Recovery Loan Fund (RLF)
$750,000 (ARC Funds)
Regional

The project will recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund operated by Woodlands Community Lenders. Funds would be for working capital and business expansion. Small businesses in Barbour, Grant, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, and Webster Counties only.

Wyoming County Economic Development Authority
COVID 19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund (RLF)
$1,500,000 (ARC Funds)
Statewide

Project will recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund operated by Wyoming County EDA. Funds would be limited to working capital only. Small businesses statewide would be eligible for loans.

Center for Rural Health Development (CRDH)
Strengthening Rural Health Infrastructure (RLF)
$500,000 (ARC Funds)
Statewide

The project will recapitalize an existing revolving loan fund operated by CRDH. Funds would be for working capital and business expansion. Healthcare-related businesses statewide would be eligible for loans.


DISTRESSED COUNTIES

Wyoming County Commission
Coal Mountain Waterline Extension Project
$1,850,000 (ARC Funds)
Wyoming County

The project will extend public water service to customers in the areas of Coal Mountain, Big Cub Branch, Upper Sturgeon Branch, and Road Branch in Wyoming County. Other funding includes CDBG (1,500,000), Wyoming County Commission ($70,000), and IJDC loan ($1,365,000), for a total project cost of $4,785,000. This project is included in the CDBG recommendations for this year. The project is ready to go and will benefit 166 new customers.

Calhoun County Commission
County Infrastructure Assessment and Improvement Plan
$135,000 (ARC Funds)
Calhoun County

The project will contract with a consulting firm to assess and make recommendations on improving the infrastructure in Calhoun County, including assessing needs, prioritizing future projects, and making recommendations on consolidating systems to increase efficiencies in operating and maintaining systems. The state will request a waiver of matching requirements since this is a perennially distressed ARC county.


WEST VIRGINIA DEVELOPMENT OFFICE

West Virginia Development Office
ARC Technical Assistance (TA) Grant
$250,000 (ARC Funds)
Statewide

The grant allows the West Virginia Development Office to pay for staff to administer the ARC program in the state and operate the West Virginia Main Street and ON TRAC programs. All costs through the TA grant are split 50/50 between ARC and state funds.
West Virginia Development Office

Competitive Improvement Program
$250,000 (ARC Funds)
Statewide

The project will provide training and consultation services to small and medium-sized firms in West Virginia to increase their competitiveness. The project will address a unique need for which no other funding sources are available. The results of these services will be a greater number of companies that are increasing the range of their market and market share, and a commensurate increase in the number of jobs retained or created.

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