JACKSON COUNTY - Jackson County has received over $1.2 million in three state grants to enhance water service, communications and records management. The grants were presented recently to Jackson County Commissioners, County Clerk Cheryl Bright, Northern Jackson County Public Service District representatives and representative of the Trace Fork Water Committee.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin presented a $704,000 Small Cities Block Grant to Commissioners Dick Waybright, Mitch Morrison and Mike Randolph and representatives of the NJCPSD and Trace Fork Water Committee toward a $1.28 million project to extend water service to 54 new households along Trace Fork Road. The project will provide reliable water service to area residents who currently rely on private wells and other water collection methods.

Commissioner Morrison called the receipt of the grant a great day for Jackson County and for Trace Fork residents.

Gov. Tomblin said, “Economic development projects and infrastructure improvements, like those supported by the Small Cities Block Grant program, are investments that not only open the door to new business prospects, but also improve the quality of life for West Virginians now and for years to come.”

A $537,000 grant from the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s Tower Fund Committee will fund the construction of a new communications tower at New Era on property donated by Adrian Ball.

Commissioner Morrison, who championed the push for the Sandyville tower, said the tower will improve communications in the area and safety for Gilmore Elementary School. “I want to thank Adrian Ball, Principal Jennifer Knopp of Gilmore Elementary School, and my fellow Commissioners,” said Morrison. “And I want to especially thank OES/911 Director Walt Smitth who wrote the grant application and worked countless hours to help this come to fruition.”

David Howell of the PSC;s Tower Funding Commission presented the grant to the Commissioners in Charleston.

Jackson County Clerk Cheryl Bright and Commissioners received a $14,859 grant from the Records Management and Preservation Board to get started on a project to convert a room in the County Clerk’s Office into a map room with cabinets and mylar sleeves for map encapsulation.’
This is a project I felt was really needed when I took office,” said Bright. “This grant will get us started. I plan to apply for more funding.”