GLENVILLE - Among the block grant awards announced Wednesday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was a $1.3 million package for a Gilmer County water project.
Gilmer County Commissioner Darrell Ramsey said the funds will go to provide water service to 104 families in the Cox's Mill area.
On Wednesday Tomblin announced more than $12.5 million in Small Cities Block Grants for 17 infrastructure projects.
Ramsey said the project totaling 3.2 million will break ground in March and they hope to have it completed by the end of summer.
"We started by securing the right of ways," he said. "We are ahead of schedule because we thought it would take much longer to get them, we thought it would be June or July before we could start."
Ramsey said the project began six years ago. He said all the families have signed up for service and have paid their tap fees.
"We needed to have them before we could apply for the money," he said. "When we got them we took it to the region seven infrastructure council, they approved it and then our delegates and senators started to push for the money.
"It's 100 percent funded."
Last year Ramsey said the county received $250,000 for the project and the rest came Wednesday. He said the area to be served is between Troy and Burnt House in Ritchie County served by the Gilmer County Public Service District.
"It's was an area in the middle," he said. "This will be good for us, it will free up a lot of land for development. We have several farms that are not used now and the owners want to sell, but they couldn't since there was no water service."
Ramsey said now all utilities are available in the area except for sewer service.
"This may help to increase the population and bring in more businesses," he said.
In an unrelated project, Ramsey said the commission is also working to build a new 911 center. He said they will end their partnership with Lewis County for emergency dispatch service.
"We are working on a 911 center behind the medical center," he said. "We are waiting on the final word for the environmental tests for the site."
Ramsey said the county has been granted permission for its own center and have hired an architect to design the 2,600 square foot center.
"We reviewed 911 and decided we wanted to take the jobs back," he said. "We hope to have it up and running by June 30 since that's when our agreement with Lewis County expires."
Ramsey said the plan is to award the contracts on Feb. 28 and break ground on March 1. Ramsey said the center will bring 15 jobs to Gilmer County.
Ramsey said the 911 center will have three stations for dispatchers. He said two will be in use at all the time and the third will be ready for backup in an emergency.
Ramsey said bonds for the $1.42 million project will be handled by Country Roads Leasing. They will purchase the bonds and then turn them over to the county.