(state-wide) Counties to receive funds to fight crime -- The Register-Herald
More than $13 million in federal economic stimulus money is en route to West Virginia to help state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies combat crime.
President Barack Obama announced $2 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding allocations for law enforcement, the White House said Friday. The assistance, available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program, includes more than $13.1 million for West Virginia.
JAG supports efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment and justice information-sharing initiatives.
State, county and municipal governments in West Virginia will receive a combined $13,139,007. Of that, the state government will receive $8,192,846. The remaining funds will be distributed among counties and municipalities. Southern West Virginia jurisdictions receiving funds include: Raleigh County, $135,565; Beckley, $215,627; Oceana, $11,297; Fayette County, $88,412; Greenbrier County, $24,559; Hinton, $14,735; Nicholas County, $65,818; and Summers County, $18,174
(state-wide) Southern lawmakers at odds over road money -- The Register-Herald
CHARLESTON — Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin is forging ahead with a plan to make delayed repairs on the West Virginia Turnpike the No. 1 priority in spending federal stimulus money.
That squarely puts him and a co-sponsor of the planned bill, Minority Leader Don Caruth, R-Mercer, at odds with other southern lawmakers in favor of sticking to the game plan — one that hands $32 million to the East Beckley bypass.
Just whether Gov. Joe Manchin can reach inside his playbook and come up with a different play to make everyone happy is doubtful. His transportation secretary, Paul Mattox, has said the stimulus money for roads — totaling $211 million — must go to shovel-ready projects that can demonstrate some immediate use rather than “a mile to nowhere” construction on a piecemeal basis.
Tentatively, the Department of Transportation intends to dish out $32 million for the Z-Way project in Beckley to relieve traffic congestion.
(state-wide) Manchin targets highway project consultant fees -- Charleston Gazette
With engineering consultants eating up as much as 69 percent of some state construction project costs, Gov. Joe Manchin is calling for changes to West Virginia's bidding process.
The governor wants competitive bids to decide which engineering and design firms get state-funded contracts.
His bill, introduced Friday, would apply both to Division of Highway and state Water Development Authority projects - but only when they involve nothing but state funding. Projects aided by federal dollars, including those now proposed for money from the stimulus package, would be exempt.
Highway officials say the measure is the latest attempt to rein in the cost of engineering consultants, which they say averaged $120 million annually during the late 1990s. While the yearly average has dropped to $26 million since 2005, administration figures suggest that they can still account for between 7 percent and 69 percent of the total price tag. Officials could not immediately say whether the typical project cost is closer to the top or bottom of the range.
(state-wide) Class offers women help finding jobs in highway construction -- The Register-Herald
Building and repairing our roads and bridges is critical work, especially in a rural state like West Virginia, according to Janis Gunel, director of West Virginia Women Work!
“Women in our state need to benefit from this investment,” she said.
Gunel says West Virginia Women Work!, a statewide nonprofit organization, is offering a tuition free 11-week training (Step-Up for Women) to prepare individuals for entry-level residential, commercial, and highway construction jobs and union apprenticeships.
The next class begins March 23 and will include hands-on instruction in carpentry, welding and electrical wiring, physical conditioning, a math review, introductions to employers and union representatives and job placement assistance.
(Berkeley Springs) Town of Bath seeks stimulus funds for water project -- The Morgan Messenger
Mayor Susan Webster told the Town of Bath Council at their meeting Thursday, February 19 the water line replacement project scheduled to begin within the next six months should qualify for stimulus package funds.
Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 17. The bill provides $81.7 million for water projects within West Virginia.
In a letter to Chief Water Operator Terry Largent, Randy Watson of Thrasher Engineering in Clarksburg, the firm managing the water project, said he has sent an application to the West Virginia Drinking Water Treatment Revolving Fund program to possibly allow Berkeley Springs to benefit by substituting stimulus money for existing loans.
(Berkeley Springs) County seeks stimulus funds -- The Morgan Messenger
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on February 17 specified $1.38 billion in stimulus funds for West Virginia and estimated the money would create 20,000 new jobs.
How that money will be allocated is up to the state legislature, now meeting in Charleston, and Governor Joe Manchin.
State Delegate Daryl Cowles said there are more projects than can be funded and decisions will have to be made. Those decisions might ultimately end up on the desk of the governor.
Slated on the list of projects to be considered by the select committee, legislature and governor are several entries from Morgan County.
Paw Paw is asking for $2 million to upgrade the town’s water and sewer systems.
The Morgan County Board of Education is asking for $361,388 for renovations at Berkeley Springs High School.
West Virginia State Parks and Recreation is asking for $120,000 to replace the roof on the Cacapon State Park Lodge.
(Bluefield) Fed funds funnel north? -- Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD — Is Raleigh County really receiving more federal funding than Mercer County?
While much has been said in recent days about a perceived disparity in federal funding awards between the two neighboring southern West Virginia counties, a review of recent federal funding announcements by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., does reveal a trend of support for Raleigh County.
During the past year, Raleigh County garnered approximately $57.1 million in federal funding awards, including $22.3 million for the Beckley Intermodal Gateway and $32 million for the East Beckley Bypass. By comparison, Mercer County received approximately $12.7 million, led by a $5 million federal appropriation secured by U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., in July 2008 for the King Coal Highway.
(Charleston) Kanawha County plans to add two new buses to system with stimulus help -- Charleston Daily Mail
Riders of the Kanawha Regional Transportation Authority will soon be able to take advantage of two new buses, as money from the economic recovery package rolls into Kanawha County.
KRT Assistant General Manager Doug Hartley said preliminary numbers show $2.97 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act being available for the county urban transit properties.
The final number will be known by March 10, but Hartley was told by Susan O'Connell, the director of the West Virginia Division of Public Transit, to plan on the early numbers to do projects that would normally be too expensive for the county to do.
The money is expected to pay for two new 35-foot buses, which are $330,000 each and five Kanawha Alternate Transportation vans, used for Dial-A-Ride. The vans are estimated to cost between $45,000 and $60,000.
The vehicles will replace part of the fleet too old to service. KRT currently operates 56 full-size buses and 14 KAT vans.
(Charleston) W.Va. health clinic gets $1.15 million in stimulus money -- Charleston Daily Mail
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia is getting $1.15 million from the federal stimulus package for a government health clinic in Belington.
U.S. Sens. Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller announced the release of the funds to Belington Community Medical Services on Monday. The clinic is one of 126 across the country that are getting a total $155 million under the stimulus package.
Byrd and Rockefeller say the money will help the clinic provide primary and preventive care to 5,940 West Virginians and create 45 jobs.
(Charleston) St. Albans requesting stimulus funds for water system -- Charleston Daily Mail
ST. ALBANS, W.Va. - St. Albans Mayor Dick Callaway has requested $8.7 million for the city from the federal stimulus package.
He said several projects would be ready to go if the money becomes available, including water and sewer system overhauls and renovation of various city structures.
"The fire and police department building is in need of a new roof, as are other city buildings," he said.
(Charleston) South Charleston gets funding for key bridge -- Charleston Daily Mail
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - South Charleston is a step closer to breaking ground on a new Central Avenue overpass after getting $237,500 in federal funds for the project.
South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., called him Tuesday and said she'd been able to secure the money in a federal appropriations bill, which also will funnel money to other projects across the state.
The busy overpass, just off Kanawha Turnpike, needs to be completely overhauled, at an estimated cost of about $1.5 million.
Mullens said South Charleston could start the Central Avenue project "tomorrow" if it had full funding.
The city is currently working with CSX to get appropriate permits for the work on the overpass because it carries traffic over railroad tracks.
(Culloden) HUD funds to help Huntington area -- The Cabell Standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV), announced last week that the Huntington area has received $2,917,474 in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) 2009 Recovery Act funds.
The Housing Authority of the City of Huntington was awarded $1,504,529 in 2009 Recovery Act Capital Fund Formula Program awards. These funds are used for Public Housing Agencies eligible for funding under Section 9 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 with the exception that funds cannot be used for operations or rental assistance. Monies are used for capital and management activities, including the modernization and development of public housing.
The City of Huntington was awarded $854,337 in 2009 Recovery Act Homeless Prevention Grant Program awards. Funds should be used to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and help those who are already experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized.
Additionally, Huntington was awarded $558,608 in 2009 Recovery Act CDBG Formula Program awards. These funds would be used for public facilities and improvements including infrastructure improvements, childcare facility improvements and neighborhood improvements. Funds can also be used to assist public service agencies such as community centers and homeless shelters. These funds are geared towards assisting low and moderate income persons.
(Elkins) In Other News -- The Inter-Mountain
Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley announced the Davis Avenue storm water separation project is listed to receive stimulus funding. According to Pingley, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said the chances to receive funding are good but he is unsure of the amount and type.
(Elkins) Stimulus building bridges in Grant -- The Inter-Mountain
The stimulus money will be used to build two bridges in Grant County, one spanning state Route 93 and the other over Grant County Route 1. Both are in the Greenland Gap region near Scherr and are part of the Bismarck to Forman segment of the project.
(Point Pleasant) Plans progress for New Haven sewer project -- Point Pleasant Register
NEW HAVEN — Plans for the $2.6 million proposed sewer project in the Town of New Haven are nearing completion.
Jack Ramsey of Triad Engineering Inc. said 80 percent of the project’s specifications have been completed, with the entire scope of the project set to be submitted to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Public Service Commission by the end of the month. If the work is approved on the state level, the project could be put out for bid in October, with work set to begin by late-February/early-March 2010.
Ramsey said the town’s sewer project, which already has been approved for a 30-year, interest-free loan, could qualify for some of the stimulus funding if average sewer bills meet a certain level, adding that potential rate increases could be necessary to meet those guidelines.
In fact, Ramsey said some projects in the state will receive 100 percent of their costs covered by the stimulus money, which council members agreed would be a huge boost for the town.
“This would be one of the greatest things that could ever happen to this town, as far as infrastructure,” Mayor Steve Smith added.
(Romney) Hampshire County has four projects on stimulus list -- Hampshire Review
ROMNEY — Capital improvements on the list of “shovel ready” projects prepared by the state budget office Dec. 23, 2008, include four projects in Hampshire County.
The nearly $2.3 billion list of requests include 61.9 percent of projects relating to infrastructure, roads and bridges was requested by and sent to president-elect Barack Obama.
Projects pertaining to Hampshire County include; Central Hampshire Public Sewer District, $1,683,000, U.S. Route 50 climbing lane, $2,800,000, West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, $610,731 and the Romney bridge, $10,400,000.
According to Kimberly Osborne, speaking for the state budget office, “Everyone on the list had to meet certain criteria.”
(Romney) $4 million stimulus funds Romney three-lane -- Hampshire Review
ROMNEY — The three-lane section of U.S. Route 50 going through Romney is slated for expansion, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act otherwise known as the stimulus money.
Gov. Joe Manchin has targeted the state Department of Transportation as the first state agency to receive part of the $1 billion stimulus spending.
Hampshire County Division of Highways will receive $4 million of the stimulus to extend the existing three-lane section of U.S. Route 50.
Rob Pennington is the West Virginia Division of Highways director of program planning and administration.
Pennington was instrumental in acquiring the stimulus funding for the state.
“The highways department has been working on establishing which programs to fund since mid-December,” said Pennington.
Funding had to be distributed throughout the three congressional districts in West Virginia, he said.
(Spencer) Stimulus money to be spent on I-79 -- The Times Record
Roane’s share of highway funds under the federal economic stimulus package will be spent on I-79.
A list of 106 projects released last week includes three in Roane County. A Dept of Transportation official identified a fourth project not on the list also scheduled for completion. All are on I-79 between Amma and Wallback.
Ninety-nine of the projects on the list involve resurfacing or bridge repair on interstates or other major highways.
Dept. of Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox said a wish list approaching a billion dollars had to be cut back to meet the $215 million in highway funds the state received through the stimulus program. He said that meant eliminating all but four major construction projects.
Projects in Roane that were funded include resurfacing of four miles of I-79 north of Amma, resurfacing of one bridge and repainting two others.
(Williamson) Mingo County welcomes construction business -- Williamson Daily News
The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority announced at its regular meeting a new addition to businesses at its industrial park, Wright Concrete and Construction of Pikeville.
“We are excited to have them,” MCRA Chairman Mike Whitt said. “We closed the deal with them Feb. 13. They will start hiring employees in three or four weeks. They will start with about 20 people, and hope to grow to 80 to 100 employees in three to five years.”
A business plan has been developed for the park, which shows a lot of potential, Whitt said. He explained he hoped the park can benefit from President Obama’s new economic stimulus plan.
“We are in a great position with the airport,” Whitt said. “It is a ‘shovel ready’ project, and I feel there is a great possibility we can get some funding for that.”
Stimulus Expenditure Tracking Sites
State Recovery Sites
Eye on the Stimulus | Propublica.com
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: State-by-State Estimated Benefits Fact Sheets (put together the the Senate Democratic Policy Committee)
Education Week (Breakdowns and analysis of education funding)
In other news, W.Va's Recovery site has yet to go online.