MOUNDSVILLE, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia has secured $1.08 million in federal grant funding that will be used for multiple broadband and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects across Marshall County.
The governor made the announcement at the Marshall County Commission offices in Moundsville and presented local officials with their respective grants.
“Any day you’re able to give away over a million dollars is a great day for everyone involved,” Gov. Justice said. “With this funding, we’re going to be able to help a lot of people in northern West Virginia in all kinds of ways.”
These funds are just one piece of $13.1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars that have been dedicated for various broadband and infrastructure projects throughout West Virginia this year by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The $1.08 million that will be distributed within Marshall County is the combined total of two separate grants awarded in the county.
Of that total, $955,000 has been awarded to the City of Cameron to replace and improve various components of the city’s wastewater treatment plant. This includes installing 1,300 linear feet of new wastewater lines to help alleviate the discharge of untreated water.
This project stands to benefit more than 900 people in Cameron by keeping this system efficient, helping to keep costs low for customers.
“For far too long, going back before I walked in the door, we had too many communities like this suffering in one way or another,” Gov. Justice said. “But I’ve been doing everything in my power to change all that and slowly but surely we’re making life better for people.
“Access to a top-of-the-line system – like the one this grant will provide – prevents a lot of unnecessary headaches,” Gov. Justice said. “All I want is goodness for all the people of West Virginia. And this is a start.”
The remaining $125,000 has been awarded to the Marshall County Commission for the purpose of improving broadband connectivity across the region. This funding will allow local officials to study and identify service gaps in their communities and determine what technologies may be needed to close those gaps.
County officials will then use their findings to develop a broadband feasibility plan, with a goal of improving high-speed internet service to more than 38,000 homes and businesses in these communities.
This study will also be conducted in collaboration with a similar study that will be done in nearby Brooke County, which has also been awarded a CDBG grant for broadband improvement.
The overall goal of these combined efforts is to provide broadband solutions for all five northern panhandle counties.
“We need to get every single person we can access to high-speed internet and all the connectivity that broadband can provide,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s the key to modernizing our economy and unlocking our state’s full potential once and for all.”
In total, 19 different communities throughout West Virginia have been awarded CDBG grants for this year.