Raleigh County reflects on year of growth, looks forward to 2022

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – 2021 saw a lot of growth and changes to Raleigh County. New business, changes to local politics and much more has been on the mind of the Raleigh County Commission. 

According to Raleigh County Commissioner Greg Duckworth, one of the most exciting things the commission worked on this year was the planning for the new sheriff’s department.

The county held a groundbreaking for the project early this year, in hopes to get the sheriff’s department in a brand new facility. 

“We came out of the gate with breaking ground on the new sheriff’s department,” Duckworth said. “With the challenges of law enforcement it was a no-brainer that we needed quality people in a state-of-the-art facility.”

But the year also brought many challenges, one of the more prevalent being the new district lines that needed to be drawn.

They’re trying to take the opportunity and reduce their number of precincts to save on resources in the next elections. They’ve also upgraded their polling sites. 

“The redistricting was a challenge getting the precincts lined out. And we bought new voting machines this year, so we’ve had a pretty promising year.”

COVID-19 has also brought its own share of challenges, but funding the American Rescue Plan has the potential to upgrade necessary infrastructure in the county.

The commission has hopes to upgrade water, sewer, broadband and more to hopefully spur economic development.

“We’re always trying to get economic development and growth in the county. And there’s the opportunity that the ARP money can bring.”

The county does not have a definitive priority list on how to spend American Rescue Plan funds as of yet, but plans to meet soon and discuss how they’ll go about the process in the new year.

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