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State recognized for efficient use of ARRA funds for water projects

6/7/2010

West Virginia is among the nation’s leaders in putting to work its wastewater infrastructure American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and has been recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

In a letter to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar praised the state for its aggressive efforts in quickly getting all 39 of its wastewater-related projects under construction and for the roughly 300 jobs those projects created or sustained.

Worth $139 million, the 39 projects in 22 West Virginia counties are being funded through the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, with the help of $61 million in federal stimulus (ARRA) money. The state Department of Environmental Protection administers West Virginia’s State Revolving Fund.

West Virginia is one of a handful of states that has all of its ARRA wastewater projects under construction. In fact, three of West Virginia’s projects have been completed -- sewer system upgrades in the towns of Elkins and Mason and a wastewater treatment plant improvement in the town of Belle. Close to $1.6 million in federal stimulus dollars helped pay for those three projects.

“The 39 projects will provide additional water pollution control benefits to close to 198,000 West Virginia citizens, so we’re pleased that construction began quickly,” said Mike Johnson, program manager for the State Revolving Fund. “Our ability to put the projects out to bid, get them under contract and begin construction in a timely manner resulted because of the tireless efforts of the entire State Revolving Fund staff.”

The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure performs oversight of the transportation and infrastructure provisions of the ARRA to ensure that the funds provided are invested quickly, efficiently and in harmony with the job-creating purpose of the Act.

Tom Aluise