CHARLESTON, WV – Today, Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Sec. Austin Caperton held a virtual ceremony to announce the recommendation of 12 projects that will utilize $27,196,483 in federal grant funding for economic development of abandoned mine land sites across the state.
“This is a lot of money and it could really and truly go a long way,” Gov. Justice said. “Hopefully it’ll do a lot of great things in the areas where the work will be happening – we have a lot of great things happening in West Virginia.”
The grants, provided through the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are 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, West Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Governor’s Office.
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.
OSMRE must give final approval of the projects and amounts awarded.
“These kinds of economic development projects are right in Governor Justice’s wheelhouse and he’s absolutely been a superstar to the entire state for helping us make these valuable projects a reality in West Virginia,” Sec. Caperton said. “We’ve received $105 million over the past four years, all going into economic development activities, and we’ve already received notice that we’re going to get another $25 million in funding for the next year.”
“I want to thank all those involved in making these projects a reality, the project leaders, our county commissioners, mayors, members of the West Virginia Legislature and our West Virginia DEP,” Gov. Justice added. “Without the commitment from each and every one of these dedicated West Virginians, none of this would be possible.”
The projects recommended today include are as follows:
Indian Creek ATV Resort Project
Building the Indian Creek ATV Resort to serve as an anchor development for the newest Hatfield-McCoy Trail system in Boone County. Project includes construction of 20 cabins, 15 RV Sites, and will be the location of the new Coal River Trail System.
Oak Hill Sanitary Board – Minden Sanitary Sewer System Rehabilitation
Upgrading existing sewer lines, pumping stations, and sanitary collection system.
Claudia L. Workman Wildlife Education Center
Building an educational and wildlife viewing center within the Forks of Coal State Natural Area, located on Corridor G, just south of Charleston.
Renaissance Village in McDowell County
Aiding in the construction of a housing facility for teachers. The proposed facility will also have space available for commercial use.
Twin Hollow Campgrounds and Cabins Expansion Project
Expanding the Twin Hollow Campgrounds and Cabins Resort in Mingo County to an even larger, more prominent destination that will bring in thousands of Hatfield-McCoy Trail Riders annually and facilitate a private sector investment of $3,970,230 over the next five years.
Reclaiming the Cheat River as an Economic Asset through Trail Investment and Nurturing Greenspace (RECREATING)
Improving trail and river access by building a destination trailhead at the Preston site.
Harper Eccles Sewer Extension Project
Providing approximately three miles of public sewer to residents along Route 3 in Raleigh County.
Rhodell Water Service Upgrade Project
Constructing approximately three miles of public water service to residents along Route 33 in Raleigh County.
White Oak Waterline Extension Project
Providing approximately 19,750 linear feet of public water service to residents along the border of Raleigh and Summers counties.
The Blackwater River Loop Project: Hiking, Biking and Heritage Tourism
Constructing a water treatment system to improve water quality of the north fork of the Blackwater River and make the site a visitor-friendly education project. This project will also create a scenic trail between the towns of Thomas and Davis and restore the Davis Coal and Coke Company engineering building for use.
Fleming – An Old Mining Town Transformation to Rustic Ravines
Building a lodge and wedding/conference venue, cabins, cottages, pods, RV and ATV parks, tennis amenities, basketball amenities, walking/hiking trails, ATV trails, an Alpine Coaster, a disc golf course, a miniature golf course, and an indoor driving range to increase tourism.
Brenton and Baileysville Waterline Extension Project
Providing water service to 254 customers, Baileysville Elementary and Middle School, along with a potential expansion of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.