November 2 – BLUEFIELD – A federal grant provides the final dollars needed to complete a natural gas pipeline that will help bring more economic development to the Bluefield area and Mercer County as a whole.
“Today is another good day in West Virginia where we can give more dollars to do more good,” Gov. Jim Justice said while visiting the Bluefield Municipal Building to speak on Amendment 2.
Justice provided $1,959,000 to the Mercer County Commission and the Mercer County Development Agency to help complete an infrastructure project on Interstate 77’s Exit 1 corridor.
“Good things happen in West Virginia, absolutely great things,” Justice said as he sat next to a giant check. “And who did I give this check to? Don’t be shy.”
The more than $1.9 million will help complete a natural gas pipeline from Cumberland Road in Bluefield, where it now terminates under Route 460.
The pipeline will travel up John Nash Boulevard and reach the Cumberland Road Industrial Park, Commissioner Bill Archer said ahead of the presentation.
“It’s a big deal,” Archer said.
Adding new infrastructure will help bring more businesses to the district, said another member of the district commission.
“It will give us a great economic opportunity to drive up Route 290, John Nash Boulevard, all the way to the industrial area,” said Gene Buckner, Commissioner of Mercer County. “Businesses don’t like coming to places that don’t have infrastructure, and that’s going to be a great piece of infrastructure to build on top of the John Nash Boulevard economy.”
The money presented on Tuesday will help complete the pipeline project.
“It’s going to end everything completely,” Buckner said.
Commissioner Greg Puckett said the project’s funding was the result of “great collaboration”. US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., received a congressional allocation for the project, and the nearly $2 million presented on Tuesday was funds promised by the state. Mercer County also contributed $1 million to the project.
The story goes on
“It’s a big step forward,” said Puckett. “The more we expand the opportunities at Exit 1, it’s only going to be a great benefit to the county and it shows that people coming out of southern West Virginia — and Mercer County in particular — are open to business and ready for something good.” to do.”
County Development Authority Executive Director John O’Neal also said the completed pipeline will spur economic development around Exit 1.
“Yes, absolutely, and we want to thank the governor for contributing almost $2 million to this $6 million project,” he said. “Nearly over 100 residents will have access to gas at John Nash Boulevard and dozens of businesses. This gas project will support hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in new investment in Mercer County. This is a win for Mercer County and our entire region. Have a good day and we appreciate the Governor’s contribution. We also appreciate Senator Capito for starting this thing with $3 million of Congressional directed spending, and our district commission also contributed $1 million to this project for a total of $6 million. We just appreciate having district commissioners who think ahead and want to invest in things that will bring great benefit in the future.”
“It’s not a project we just thought about,” said Frank Brady, chairman of the development agency. “We’ve been working on this project for over seven years and to finally see it is really, really a good thing. It will make John Nash livable.”
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