Mon Commission Announces Recipients of $5 Million in ARPA Allocations

April 21 – MORGANTOWN – A $3.1 million allocation to fund electrical upgrades to Mon Power in the Morgantown Industrial Park is among a series of projects that will receive American Rescue Plan Act dollars from Monongalia County Commission.

The commission announced recipients of just over $5 million in ARPA dollars on Wednesday.

Although Commissioner Sean Sikora did not use the Mountaintop Beverage name, he explained that electrical upgrades are needed to make this manufacturing facility a reality.

The county had previously allocated just over $3.4 million in ARPA dollars to fund the Morgantown Utility Board’s sanitary sewer upgrades in the expanded portion of the industrial park, primarily to service this project.

The Mountaintop Beverage facility is under construction and is expected to begin production in November.

While the sanitary sewer upgrades for the industrial park align with ARPA’s stated priorities for water, sewer, and broadband projects, the electrical work does not, meaning that the county used $3,104,600 of its $3,207,660 in income replacement dollars. to fund the project.

Revenue replacement dollars can be used at the discretion of ARPA funding recipients, such as cities and counties, while the rest of their allocations are limited to narrower guidelines set by the US Treasury.

The county also earmarked $30,000 of this more discretionary ARPA money for a Mon River Tails Conservancy project to restore and improve drainage along a 1.5-mile section of railroad.

Of the projects announced Wednesday, $1,903,200 are water and sewer projects.

Chief among them is a previously disclosed $1 million allocation for a MUB project that will provide sewer improvements and waterway restoration along Popenoe Run. The City of Morgantown has also allocated $1 million in ARPA Money for the project.

“It’s really going to lead to directly help a lot of the flooding issues that we’ve seen over the last year in the Evansdale area. It’s a tributary that leads into that section, goes under the stadium and surfaces and causes a lot of problems,” Commissioner Jeff Arnett said. “It’s not going to fix everything, but MUB has assured us that it’s one of the root causes.

The commission also provided $436,000 to the Clay-Battelle Utility District to address six projects, including work involving Jakes Run and Days Run and improvements in the Behlar and Range road areas.

An additional $400,000 will go to the Little Creek Utility District, which is located in Marion County but primarily serves customers in Monongalia County. The funds will be used to upgrade a booster pump station along Smithtown Road.

The commission also approved $47,200 to fund water and sewer infrastructure for the new West Virginia Botanical Garden Event Center, and $20,000 to the Ministers Run Water Association for an exposed line and a creek crossing off Peter Eddy Road.

“We really looked at the projects that had the most long-term impact,” Sikora said. “The commission, from the beginning, has said that we really need to invest them in projects that will pay for themselves or eliminate other infrastructure costs for years to come. Some of these projects will pay for themselves. People can agree or disagree with individual projects, but we really spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the best use of those dollars was.”

In total, the county is expected to receive just over $20.5 million in ARPA dollars. About half of this amount is expected to be used in the countywide broadband implementation.

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James V. Hayes