April 17, 2019

City Of Beckley Receives $313,000 In Federal Funds | The Beckley Register-Herald

The City of Beckley has received $313,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and public hearings will be held to decide how the monies will be spent, Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold said Tuesday.

“We’re required to have some public hearings for input,” he said.

Rappold said that, in the past few years, the city has used $41,000 CDBG funds for community policing and $35,000 to $40,000 to demolish substandard housing or deserted houses.

Over the past few years, CDBG funds have also been spent on upgrades to city parks and green space.

“Between New River Park and Temple Street and East Park, we’ve put a lot of money into upgrading our playground equipment to make it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and safety compliant,” Rappold said. “We’ve put some really nice playground equipment in (and) basketball courts as well.

“Normally, it follows that pattern.”

He said the CDBG funding may not be used to pave streets due to strict federal regulations on the thickness of asphalt and the number of feet that must be paved.  

The Beckley grant was part of $29,872,972 in CDBG funds for West Virginia through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Funding will support state and local programs to promote community and economic development, provide affordable housing, and assist those living with HIV/AIDS.

“Community development funding and programs that support housing for all West Virginians, regardless of their situation, are critical to keeping our communities a great place to call home,” U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said in a release. “Whether it is upgrading water and wastewater services or helping a struggling family put a roof over their heads, state agencies and municipalities depend on this formula funding to improve the lives of thousands of West Virginians.

“I am pleased to see these resources come to our state, and I will continue to work with state and local officials on projects that benefit communities across West Virginia,” she added.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said funding will help keep housing affordable.

“I am a firm believer that investing in community development is one of the keys to creating thriving cities and communities in West Virginia,” Manchin said. “This funding will enable members of our community and help keep housing affordable which in turn draws businesses to our great state.

“No one should have to relocate their home because the cost of living has skyrocketed or they hit a financial speedbump,” Manchin added. “I will continue to fight for the resources and opportunities to create the economic conditions that will cause West Virginia to prosper.”


By:  Jessica Farrish