PSD Receives $650,000 Grant
The Hundred Littleton Public Service District has been approved for a $650,000 Small Cities Block Grant through the West Virginia Development Office.
Rick Healy, Housing Rehabilitation Specialist for Belomar Regional Council, reported the good news to the Wetzel County Commission Tuesday.
The grant will complete a $850,000 project for the continuation of the water lines, as well as the replacement of water meters, a storage tank, and seven fire hydrants in the Littleton district. Last year on Feb. 1 the PSD received a $200,000 Small Cities Block Grant to initiate the design process and right-of-way agreements for the project.
This year’s grant will be officially awarded at the Cultural Center in Charleston today at 2 p.m.
Since the project had received the design grant last year, Healy reported that the PSD already has a contract with Thrasher Engineering of Clarksburg for design work and it is hoped that component will be completed by the end of February. The project will be bid in late summer.
“This is one that really should go relatively quickly,” commented Healy. “By fall bids should be accepted and we should be looking at construction.”
Now the county will be able to apply for something else in the 2009 round of funding, said Healy. Commission Vice President Bob Gorby said the Grandview-Doolin PSD would be the next in line for application as the county has been rotating the areas for grant requests as the county can only submit one per year. However, Healy said that extension project is a challenge as the cost per customer is high.
Gorby countered that at some point he would think that most of the projects that benefit high numbers of customers would disappear and projects like the Doolin-Grandview one would become more attractive.
The Small Cities Block Grant program provides federal funds for community and economic development projects throughout West Virginia. The program supports job creation and retention efforts, local government efforts to provide affordable infrastructure systems, and community efforts to improve the quality of life for low- to moderate-income citizens.
Finally, Healy and the commission discussed the possibility of Wetzel County benefitting from a much sought-after infrastructure stimulus proposal by President-elect Barack Obama. Healy assured them that the regional council is keeping a close eye on the issue. “We just want to be ready when it happens,” he said.
They talked specifically of the Wetzel Street bridge in Hundred that was closed in April 2008 by state bridge inspectors. An estimate to fix the bridge was put at about $200,000. The commissioners thought perhaps it was a small enough project that it might be able to be funded.
Also, at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting the commission elected officers for the year with Don Mason being elected president and Gorby as vice president.