Gov. Northam recommends $4.1 million in funding for projects, nearly $2.5 million for Southwest Virginia

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam listens as he prepares to speak to a group of volunteers in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Theater restoration, sewer projects and museum transformations are just some of the projects Governor Ralph Northam wants to receive funding in Southwest Virginia.

According to a release from the governor’s office, Northam is supporting $4.1 million in grants be awarded by the Appalachian Regional Commission to 13 projects in the the Appalachian Region, which encompasses Southwest Virginia.

The region includes 25 counties and eight independent cities.

The release states final approval of the project funding will be decided later in 2021.

“The Appalachian Regional Commission is a key funding tool for addressing the unique challenges facing our Appalachian region. Investing in Appalachia is more important now than ever before as we work to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that no area of the Commonwealth is left behind in our recovery. These 13 projects align with our ongoing efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of all those in our Appalachian communities by creating new economic opportunities, building critical infrastructure, preparing a skilled workforce, and supporting community development.”

Governor Ralph Northam

In Southwest Virginia, seven projects are recommended to receive $2,495,826 in funding. The release included the following details on the projects:

Dungannon Comprehensive Water Improvements
$500,000 – Town of Dungannon (Scott County)
This project will replace approximately 15,000 linear feet of water system lines and appurtenances, including water line reconnections to an estimated 42 residential and 25 non-residential customers. These improvements will increase accountability and hydraulic efficiencies of the water distribution system.

Russell Theater Restoration Project
$500,000Town of Lebanon (Russell County)
This project will restore and enhance the historic Russell Theater, which will serve as a community facility for downtown Lebanon, and provide two full-time and three part-time jobs.

Hamiltontown Sewer Project
$438,826 – Wise County
This project will install 5,540 linear feet of new gravity sewer lines in Wise County’s Hamiltontown community, providing new sewer service to 13 households.

Blackwater Phase II Water Project
$315,000 – Lee County
This project continues the previously ARC-funded Lee County Blackwater Phase I water system, which will provide new potable public water to 21 households and 46 customers in rural Lee County. The project will install approximately 21,590 linear feet of water distribution lines and related appurtenances to provide water service. At this time, no public water system exists within the project area.

William King Museum of Art – Cultural Campus Phase II Part II
$275,000 – William King Museum
This project will complete the transformation of the 22-acre historic William King Museum of Art into a safe and accessible destination. With the museum’s completion, this landmark will increase the number of visitors, stimulate economic growth through tourism, and facilitate community engagement.

Dickenson County Public Service Authority – Backbone Ridge – Edwards Ridge Waterline Replacement Project
$267,000 – Dickenson County
This project will replace undersized and leaking waterlines and provide an adequate and safe water supply to 35 existing homes in the Backbone Ridge community of Dickenson County. In total, the project will install more than 14,000 linear feet of water lines and appurtenances.

LENOWISCO Planning District Commission InvestSWVA Initiative
$200,000 – LENOWSICO Planning District Commission
This public-private economic development partnership will be focused on implementing existing projects led by InvestSWVA, a proven initiative creating new jobs, investment, and opportunities for communities in Southwest Virginia that have been impacted by the decline of the coal industry. InvestSWVA will continue to identify and target economic development opportunities within the energy, advanced agricultural, and data center sectors for Southwest Virginia.

Northam also recommended funding for projects in Montgomery County, Galax City, Patrick County, Henry County, the Town of Pulaski and a statewide robotics education program.

You can read the full release by clicking here.

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