WESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia has secured $500,000 in federal grant funding that will be used to improve broadband and high-speed internet connectivity in Lewis County.
The governor made the announcement at the Lewis County Commission offices in Weston and presented commissioners with the grant.
“Today we’re doing good stuff, we’ll be able to help a bunch of people here,” Gov. Justice said. “We going to be able to connect so many people like they’ve never been connected before.”
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.
This broadband infrastructure project in Lewis County will improve access to high-speed internet to nearly 500 people and 7 businesses in communities in the southern part of the county.
“Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if just maybe three of those 500 people we’re connecting today all of a sudden came up with an idea; an idea that spawned into all kinds of jobs and all kinds of opportunities right here in our back door,” Gov. Justice said. “It could really happen.”
The project will also allow the county’s Economic Development Authority to facilitate economic growth for the whole region by providing digital enhancements to education, health care, public safety and more.
“What it really boils down to is that broadband connects us to the world,” Gov. Justice said. “Before I walked in the door as governor, all of us here in West Virginia were left out of the new era of technology.
“Now we’re taking a big step forward, and not just here in Weston but also across our entire state and for all of our people,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s truly an exciting time, because we’re on the move in so many ways.”
A grand total of $2.4 million of the overall CDBG funds awarded in West Virginia will go toward similar broadband projects, benefitting thousands of people in 10 different counties across the state.
In total, 19 different communities throughout West Virginia have been awarded CDBG grants for this year.