Northam recommends $4.2M in funding for SWVA projects
Appalachian Regional Commission funding proposed for 17 projects
Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday recommended that more than $4.2 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants be distributed among 17 economic development projects in Southwest Virginia.
ARC grants can be used toward infrastructure, entrepreneurship development and workforce development. Northam’s recommended allocations must be approved by the federal commission before being awarded later this year.
“ARC grants are an important funding tool for many communities in the Appalachian region of our commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement. “Investing in infrastructure, our workforce, and economic and community development are essential components of our COVID-19 recovery, especially in rural Virginia. This funding will help us build on the region’s strengths, address its challenges, and drive growth and opportunity throughout Appalachia.”
The ARC program was established in 1965 to assist the Appalachian region with economic development. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works with localities and stakeholders in the region to develop projects, which are then evaluated by DHCD and the governor. The recommendations then go to the federal commission for approval.
The following projects are recommended for funding to the Appalachian Regional Commission:
- Hunt’s Fork Waterline Extension Project, $500,000, Buchanan County. The project will add thousands of feet of waterline to Buchanan County Public Service Authority’s existing water system.
- Downtown Christiansburg Community Gathering Space, $275,000, Christiansburg. The project would create a farmers market and multipurpose space in downtown Christiansburg.
- Red Onion Industrial Park Project, $50,000, Dickenson County. The project includes the development of a 30-acre industrial park in Dickenson County with onsite access roads and fiber broadband extensions. It would create 300 jobs.
- The Harvest Foundation Workforce Foundations: Advancing Early Childhood Education in the City of Martinsville and Henry County, $216,880, Martinsville and Henry County. This project would expand early childhood education businesses. It would create 15 jobs and six childcare businesses in the community.
- Town of Lebanon Russell Theater Restoration Project, $50,000, Russell County. This project would restore the historic Russell Theater into an anchor performance space.
- St. Charles Water Line Replacement, $500,000, Lee County. This project would allow the Lee County Public Service Authority to continue replacing waterlines in the town of St. Charles.
- The Fields Waterline Replacement Phase II, $218,027, Lee County. This project would continue the replacement of waterlines in Lee County.
- LENOWISCO Planning District Commission Amelioration Strategic Development Plan, $48,000, Wise County. This project would develop an “ecosystem” of recovery for individuals suffering from opioid use disorder.
- New College Foundation Center for Trades Entrepreneurship Planning Study, $50,000, Martinsville. This project would produce a report detailing training curriculum for entrepreneurship in the skilled trades.
- Norton Industrial Development Authority Projection Intersection Site 4 Utilities, $400,000, Norton. This project would extend water, sewer, gas and broadband to Norton’s new regional business park, Project Intersection.
- Patrick County Broadband Engineering Study and Design, $35,000, Patrick County. This project would develop a plan for Patrick County to identify short-term and long-term investments in broadband extension and economic growth.
- Pennington Gap Business Center for the Trades, $50,000, Pennington Gap. This project would provide a cost-efficient workspace for entrepreneurs.
- People Incorporated Financial Services Business Technical Assistance, $63,233, Buchanan, Dickenson and Russell Counties. This project would provide entrepreneurial and financial training to low-income individuals.
- Virginia Community Capital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, $197,592, Southwest Virginia. This project would support local business competitions and workshops in Southwest Virginia.
- Glamorgan Sewer Project, $500,000, Wise County. This project would install a wastewater collection system in Glamorgan.
- Millwald Theatre Restoration and Economic Revitalization Project, $500,000, Wytheville. This project would restore the historic Millwald Theatre and promote it as a multipurpose space.
- YMCA at Virginia Tech – Y Cares Childcare Center, $499,985.50, Blacksburg. This project would create 20 to 25 full-time jobs in the region and provide training and mentorship opportunities.
“From child care and entrepreneurship to infrastructure and outdoor recreation, ARC funding gives communities the flexibility to invest in a wide variety of projects,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “These 17 proposed projects will provide job creation opportunities for Appalachian communities and help further the work to diversify the economy of the region.”