WISE — Wise County projects were announced Friday among a total of $2.2 million in federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants for 10 projects in Virginia’s ARC region that encompasses 25 counties and eight cities in Southwest Virginia.
Wise County projects to be funded as announced Friday by Gov. Bob McDonnell include $99,600 for an access initiative at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap; $500,000 to the Wise County Public Service Authority for the first phase of the Roda, Osaka and Stonega wastewater project; $500,000 for renovation of the Willis Building in St. Paul to be administered by the St. Paul Industrial Development Authority; and $51,294 to the town of Big Stone Gap for the town’s Visitors Center.
In announcing disbursement of the funds on Friday, McDonnell said ARC grants are part of an economic development strategy to spur growth in the Appalachian region.
“We are encouraging development in communities that are poised for future growth by funding projects such as infrastructure, education, tourism and entrepreneurship support,” he said.
Established in 1965 during the Lyndon Johnson administration, the general goal of the ARC is to assist the region to achieve economic prosperity. ARC funds are broadly aimed at supporting economic development in the Appalachian region by funding projects such as infrastructure, entrepreneurship support and work force development.
Besides the Wise County projects, other recipient projects announced Friday by McDonnell include $10,000 for an economic impact assessment on behalf of The Crooked Road; $200,000 for the New College Center of Excellence; $500,000 for new classroom and lab facilities at Emory & Henry University’s School of Health Sciences; $75,513 for the People Incorporated Financial Services Small Business Boot Camp; and $288,564 for the Town of Haysi’s Trails Center Development project.