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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $3.2 Million to Make Critical Wastewater Improvements Needed to Protect Businesses from Flooding Near Beverly, West Virginia, Opportunity Zone

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $3.2 million grant to the town of Beverly, West Virginia, to make flood control infrastructure improvements needed to protect manufacturing and other businesses from flooding. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $380,000 in state funds and $430,000 in local funds, and is expected to retain 499 jobs and generate more than $23 million in private investment.

“President Trump is committed to helping communities impacted by natural disasters improve their infrastructure to ensure that businesses can keep operating in the event of future severe storms,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This sewer infrastructure improvement project will provide local manufacturers and businesses with updated infrastructure to maintain operations, and the nearby Opportunity Zone will attract additional investment to the region.”

“Flooding severely impacted the Town of Beverly and Randolph County in 2019,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA’s investment will provide manufacturers and businesses in Beverly with the sewer capacity they need to operate during future weather events, and the project’s location near an Opportunity Zone will further spur growth and diversification in the regional economy.”

“West Virginia has been battered by floods over the years, destroying homes and communities and taking too many innocent lives from us,” said Senator Joe Manchin. “Investing in flood control infrastructure provides our communities with security and safety, and I applaud the EDA for assisting Beverly with their project to protect their community and businesses. I look forward to seeing the results of this investment and the security it will bring to Beverly businesses and families.”

“This investment in Beverly will go far in helping modernize sewer infrastructure and protect businesses from future flood damage,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “The EDA continues to be a valued partner in West Virginia’s economic growth, and thanks to this project, even more development can come to the area in the nearby Opportunity Zone.”

“I’m glad $3.2 million in funds for upgraded infrastructure have been awarded to Beverly, West Virginia, an area prone to flooding,” said Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-02). “This project will address the adverse impact of floods, create jobs, incentivize private investment and lead to economic growth. The Trump Administration is committed to economic opportunity for West Virginians in underserved areas.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Region VII Economic Development District, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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