This week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development West Virginia State Director Ryan Thorn joined U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III to announce investments of $9.5 million in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers counties. These are part of a larger $14.8 million investment in Rural Partners Network communities across West Virginia to foster long-term economic growth and prosperity.
“The USDA Rural Development led Rural Partners Network initiative is working to ensure that rural West Virginia communities have the opportunity to succeed, and the people that live in those communities have an opportunity to not just survive – but thrive,” said Thorn. “We understand that a stronger, more successful community doesn’t effortlessly appear after one federal award. It’s a years-long process of visioning, planning, and investing. The funding announced today is a commitment to that process and a testament to the work being done by the Rural Partners Network across twenty counties in our state. This funding will help West Virginia communities carry out projects that strengthen basic infrastructure, spur economic growth, enhance community services, and lead to more resilient communities.”
Rural Development is providing grants, direct loans, and loan guarantees to help people living in rural communities in the Rural Partners Network (RPN) access good-paying jobs, improved infrastructure, and affordable housing.
The investments total $14,810,642 and will support 12 projects in six RPN designated counties in West Virginia. Local investments include:
• The Red Sulphur Public Service District will receive a $3,803,000 loan and a $996,000 grant through the Water and Waste Disposal Program to extend its waterlines to bring over 80 new residential customers to the PSD and provide safe drinking water to citizens within the proposed project.
• Belle Vue Dairy LLC will receive a $19,921 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant to purchase and install a 19.71-kilowatt solar array. This project will realize $5,502 per year in savings and will replace 23,553 kilowatt hours per year, or 47 percent, which is enough electricity to power two homes.
• Panucci Orthodontics, PLLC will receive a $39,821 Rural Energy for America Program grant to purchase and install a 42-kilowatt solar array at its Farming Smiles office. This project annually will save $4,771 and replace 52,378 kilowatt hours per year, or 94 percent, enough energy to power four homes.
Rural Partners Network is an all-of-government program of more than 800 federal, state and local partners that collaborate to address specific needs in communities that have long struggled to access government programs and funding.