SWVA projects recommended for $10.6M in federal funds
Dickenson County industrial site, Wise County energy lab among projects
Eight Southwest Virginia economic development projects totaling $10.6 million have been recommended for federal funding under Virginia’s Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization grant program, Gov. Glenn Youngkin and U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith announced Friday.
Referred to the federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement for approval, the projects include $2.347 million to develop a 23.5 acre build-ready pad at the Chip Mill Industrial Site in Dickenson County; $2 million to leverage previously mined properties to support the Energy DELTA Lab in Wise County; and another $2 million to create campsites and connector trails at Devil’s Bathtub in Wise and Scott counties.
Under the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Virginia already expects to receive $22.7 million in federal funds to reclaim abandoned mine lands during the next 15 years. The Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization, or AMLER, grant program is separate from that in that it seeks to advance economic development opportunities from the development and repurposing of abandoned mine lands. Virginia was one of nine states and tribal programs picked by Congress to receive $10 million in fiscal 2020 under the program. Will Clear, deputy director of the state’s Department of Energy, told Virginia Business that the commonwealth is slated to receive $13 million in federal funds for fiscal 2023.
Other projects recommended for funding include:
- $525,000 to expand manufacturing at medical supplier Bird Dog Distributors, in Dickenson County;
- $750,000 to create a sporting complex on abandoned mine land in Dickenson County, including archery, rifle/pistol and shotgun shooting ranges;
- $1.6 million to create a pad-ready housing development site in Wise County;
- $500,000 for the expansion of Maine Five Distributors LLC’s sewing operations in Buchanan County; and
- $925,000 for workforce center upgrades and program expansion of Mountain Empire Community College’s Center for Workforce and Innovation of Appalachia in Wise County.
“These projects selected support our goals of immediate job creation and the development of new business-ready sites that will be the fuel that drives new business investment in these Southwest Virginia communities,” Youngkin said in a statement. “There is great innovation in these proposals that will make Virginia the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
Clear told Virginia Business Friday that he expects a response from the federal mine office on the funding in the first or second quarters of 2023.