May 17, 2022

Manchin Announces $7.6 Million from American Rescue Plan for West Virginia Water Infrastructure, Broadband Expansion

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced $7,680,000 from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for two projects in West Virginia. The funding will support water infrastructure upgrades to bolster local businesses in McDowell County and the design of a statewide broadband implementation plan through Regional Optical Communications, a consortium of counties led by the Region 1 and 4 Planning and Development Councils, which is based in Princeton. The awards are part of the EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment (CCC) program, which supports coal communities as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and create new jobs and opportunities.
“Investing in our local communities creates good-paying jobs and spurs economic opportunity, and today’s announcement is great news for McDowell and Mercer counties and the entire region,” said Senator Manchin. “The EDA continues to be a strong partner for West Virginia, and these investments will provide critical upgrades to water infrastructure and expand high-speed broadband access. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this funding and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for resources to support economic development across the Mountain State.”
“President Biden is committed to providing communities with the resources they need to recover from the pandemic and build a better America in the process,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will provide for water infrastructure upgrades and the development of a broadband implementation plan in support of job creation and business development.”
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The projects announced today will provide critical infrastructure upgrades and access to high-speed internet services, supporting job growth and economic diversity in West Virginia.”
Individual awards listed below:

  • $6,480,000 – McDowell County Public Service District, Welch, West Virginia
    • This project will be matched with $1.6 million in state funds and is expected to create 85 jobs, retain 40 jobs and generate $4 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
    • This award funds the Phase III Elkhorn Water project to provide quality and dependable potable water and fire protection services to approximately 50 businesses, including bed and breakfasts and private campgrounds in Welch, West Virginia. These customers currently have no public sewage system and the use of an on-site sewage disposal system is highly contaminated and unsafe for local businesses.
  • $1,200,000 – Regional Optimal Communications, Princeton, West Virginia
    • This project will be matched with $300,000 in other federal funds and will create 83 jobs, retain 616 jobs, and generate $10.4 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
    • This award supports the completion of a state-wide roadmap for implementation of affordable broadband initiatives throughout West Virginia, including administrative services and contractual work.