BLACKSMITHS — A busy weekend excursion for a federal delegation through West Virginia included a stop at Smithers Gateway Center on Friday, March 18.
During the Smithers appearance, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joined Smithers Mayor Dr. Anne Cavalier, Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram, and Rob Rice of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to visit reclaimed abandoned mine sites in the city.
Also on Friday, Manchin highlighted a $4.688 million investment he helped secure in the fiscal year 2022 funding bill for the Smithers Integrated Trail System.
Supporting information provided by Smithers in its congressional directed spending request stated that trails and related development in and around Smithers, including municipal partner Montgomery and unincorporated neighbors Boomer, Alloy, Falls View and Charlton Heights, would boost a local economy. which has been devastated by several factors in recent years.
“It was a very competitive process,” Cavalier said Thursday. “We literally had to lay out our plans and budgets and talk about what that money could actually create.
“The projects for our funding are based on Smithers, but what we need is integration with everyone else’s projects so we can tie them together and make it a seamless and very unique experience for people. people coming from out of state.”
According to Manchin’s office, among other regional allocations included in the FY22 spending package that was enacted or funded through other appropriations were:
• New River Health Association, Scarbro — $5 million for the expansion of the medical facility
• New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Beckley — $1.5 million for multi-use trail connectivity in Fayette County
• Greenbrier Utility District #2, Greenbrier County – Phase II waterline extension, $1.5 million to provide water service to approximately 275 new customers
• National Coal Heritage Area Authority, Oak Hill — $415,000 for the restoration of the Mount Hope Cultural Center
• Beckley Airport Taxiway Construction — $2,934,447 to complete development of the Raleigh County Memorial Airport Aerospace Site, including the development of 2,500 feet of taxiway and apron for runway access (this request has funded by a combination of FAA and ARP discretionary funding).
• Kanawha River Basin Study (Corps of Engineers) — $1.5 million
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