Gov. Justice announces $1.5 million in federal grant funding for water system upgrades in Ronceverte

RONCEVERTE, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that West Virginia has secured $1.5 million in federal grant funding that will be used to upgrade the water system in Ronceverte.

“These are the upgrades that we need to do in this state,” Gov. Justice said. “I wish to goodness that we could have billions of dollars to be able to do these kinds of upgrades, nonstop, all the time, but every dollar helps.”

These funds are just one piece of $13.1 million in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars that have been dedicated for various water/sewer line and broadband improvement projects throughout West Virginia this year by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We’re just incredibly happy to be able to provide assistance in a community like Ronceverte,” Gov. Justice said. “I know what we all experienced in the terrible flood and everything we’ve gone through, it’s been tough going, that’s all there is to it, and I know just from the standpoint of water pressure and everything in the last months has become a real issue.”

In Ronceverte, the $1.5 million grant will be used to finish rehabilitating the city’s water distribution system in order to improve efficiency. The city has experienced 65 percent water loss ever since the most recent project on the water system was completed in 2011.

The new upgrades to the water system provided by this grant will reduce waste, which will help keep water costs down for the 2,246 people who rely on the system every day.

A grand total of $10.7 million of the overall CDBG funds awarded in West Virginia will go toward similar water and sewer line projects, benefitting thousands of people in 7 different counties across the state.

“I do believe that our state has turned one corner and we’ve still got rocks to flip over, we’ve still got people that are hurting, but we’ve done lots of great stuff,” Gov. Justice said. “I mean we walked in on day one and things were, I’ve said over and over, we were bankrupt, I don’t care how you cut it, that’s all there is to it, people leaving the state like crazy and the more that left, the worse it got. We had to turn a whole lot of things around.”

Gov. Justice will announce more of West Virginia’s 19 total CDBG awardees over the coming weeks.

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