March 10, 2021

Manchin, Local Leaders Discuss Benefits Of COVID-19 Relief Package For West Virginia Local Governments

Washington, DC – This evening, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) attended a virtual roundtable with members of the West Virginia Municipal League (WVML), West Virginia Association of Counties (WVACO) and County Commissioners Association of West Virginia (CCAWV) to discuss and answer questions about the at least $4 billion in direct federal funding and the benefits to West Virginia local governments. Senator Manchin secured this funding for West Virginia in the American Rescue Plan that passed the Senate on Saturday.

“West Virginia local governments are essential in the fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic because of the essential services they provide to their communities. But local governments have been stretched thin by providing the essential services West Virginians depend on while facing drastic cuts in revenue as a result of this public health crisis,” Senator Manchin said. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have advocated for funding to support local governments directly and I am proud to have secured $677 million for cities and counties across West Virginia in the latest COVID-19 relief package. For the first time in as long as I can remember, local governments have the flexibility to use these funds to fix and upgrade sewer, water and broadband infrastructure without all of the bureaucratic red tape. This evening, I discussed the benefits of this funding with local leaders from across the state who truly understand the incredible impact this funding will make for our communities. I am committed to advocating for West Virginia’s local governments and will continue to work directly with them to ensure they are supported as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Throughout this pandemic, our community leaders, first responders and those of our critical local workforce have worked hard to protect our communities from COVID-19. Senator Manchin has been a steadfast ally of local government and has once again delivered for West Virginia. Through the passage of the American Rescue Plan we can set out to recover and rebuild our communities from the long-term impacts of COVID-19,” said Martinsburg Councilor Kevin Knowles, WVML President.

“After this long, hard year, your tireless service to West Virginians has shone through once again - from providing comfort when we first faced this pandemic with lockdowns; getting PPE distributed across the state to enhance public health and safety; providing testing; getting the people more vaccines and establishing more vaccination sites; and now to passing this bill - we are seeing ‘the light at the end of the tunnel,’” said Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Riffle, WVACO President.

“My sincerest appreciation to Senator Manchin for his leadership and guidance during these difficult times. His efforts to assist during the COVID Pandemic and recovery have greatly aided the citizens of West Virginia,” said Agnes Queen, Lewis County Commission, CCAWV President.

Senator Manchin secured at least $4 billion in direct funding for West Virginia and more additional funding in grants and federal programs. This funding includes $677 million for cities across West Virginia and all 55 counties that will be administered by local governments, and $1.25 billion in funding for the state of West Virginia that will be administered by the Governor and state legislature.

Funding for West Virginia Local Governments Includes:

  • $677 million will go directly to local governments – cities and counties – across West Virginia, including:
    • $176 million for larger metropolitan cities
    • $153 million for smaller cities
    • $348 million for 55 counties
    • $1.25 billion for the State of West Virginia
    • This funding may be used to cover: expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, lost revenue related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and necessary investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
    • The final bill includes commonsense guardrails to ensure this funding is not used to shore up pension funds or fill budget holes created under certain conditions.
    • The funding will be distributed in two tranches: the first half will be issued within 60 days; the second half will be distributed roughly 12 months later.

To see a summary of funding and benefits for West Virginia in the American Rescue Plan, click here.

To view a recording of the virtual roundtable, click here.