CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Dec. 4, 2018) – Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton have recommended that 10 projects across the state share nearly $20 million dollars in grant funding for economic development of abandoned mine land sites.
The grant funding, provided by the federal government through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), is administered by the WVDEP’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands. The recipients applied for the grant funding earlier this year and were each considered by a committee of representatives from the WVDEP, West Virginia Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, and the Governor’s Office.
OSMRE must give final approval of the projects and amounts awarded.
The economic development projects must be located on or adjacent to mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977.
The projects that are recommended for funding are:
- McDowell County: $4.115 million for the McDowell Public Service District to provide sewer service to 115 homes in Ashland and Crumpler, and to support expansion of Hatfield-McCoy Trail lodging businesses;
- Raleigh County: $4 million for the Cline Complex Phase II YMCA project for a community recreation and training facility;
- Preston County: $3.014 million to Friends of Cheat, Inc. for the RE-CREATE (Reclaiming the Cheat River as an Economic Asset through Trail Enhancement) Project which includes an 8.5-mile rail trail, boat access on the Cheat River, and a community park;
- McDowell County: $2,278,500 to Ashland Resort Tourism Development for the expansion of existing Hatfield-McCoy Trail amenities such as cabins, ATV facilities, camp store, outdoor entertainment complex, and reclamation of abandoned coal mine features;
- Logan County: $1.550 million to the West Virginia Elk Restoration Project Visitor Center to construct a visitor center near the elk viewing platform;
- Mercer County: $1.5 million to the Town of Bradshaw for the rehabilitation of the town’s sanitary sewer system;
- Boone and Lincoln County: $1.3 million to the Ivy Branch Off Road Park Phase II project, which includes construction of cabins, master planning, and development of a river access site on the Little Coal River;
- McDowell County: $1 million to the Iaeger Regional Sewer Project, which will provide sewer service to 112 customers and allow for growth of Hatfield-McCoy trail related lodging;
- Tucker, Preston, and Grant Counties: $400,000 to West Virginia Land Trust's Vandalia Highlands Conservation and Recreation Project to make public approximately 900 acres of highly popular recreational trails that have become a regional destination for mountain biking;
- McDowell County: $238,000 to the McDowell PSD’s Berwind Water Treatment Plant to modernize water treatment and increase capacity for Berwind Lake Park.
This round of grant funding follows more than $50 million in grant funding that was approved in 2016 and 2017. More information on previous recipients can be found here on the WVDEP
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