Rahall Decries Cuts

BECKLEY, W.Va. (HNN) - U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) today decried proposed cuts to federal infrastructure programs that deliver water and wastewater services, highlighting the Anchor Road Water Extension Construction Project in Boone and Logan Counties as an example of investment that creates jobs in southern West Virginia

"Sound and secure water and wastewater systems mean better health for families and translate pretty quickly into stronger economies and better jobs for southern West Virginia communities,” said Rahall, speaking at the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) for the Anchor Road Water project in Boone County this morning.  “If we do not repair the nation’s infrastructure and get America moving again, we will be powerless to shrink the budget deficit,” said Rahall.

The partnership agreement allows for construction of a regional water system to serve residents in Boone and Logan Counties along the US 119 corridor, including residents in Hurricane Branch, Lake Branch, Bell Road, Manila, Dog Fork, Hollywood Branch, and Anchor Road.  The $4.7 million project is sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under its Section 340 Program and the Logan County Public Service District.  The West Virginia Infrastructure Jobs and Development Council and the Boone and Logan County Commissions also contributed funding.

Rahall questioned recent proposals by the new Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to end Congressional earmarks and cut domestic spending, while sparing federal programs to build infrastructure abroad.

“The lopsided result of these misguided proposals would slash the Corps work in America, and would grossly disadvantage, deprive and deny Americans here, on the home front, basic services to maintain fundamental infrastructure, and protect lives and livelihoods. By 2025 America’s competitors, large and small, around the globe are planning to spend a greater share of their Gross Domestic Product on water and wastewater infrastructure than we are.  We have to out infrastructure, out build, out educate, out innovate, out manufacture, and out produce our competition,” said Rahall.

The Boone County waterline extension is receiving federal funding from the Corps through the Section 340 Program, which Rahall helped to enact into law.  The Section 340 Program has received $29 million since its inception, primarily through earmarks from Rahall, and has completed more than a dozen water and wastewater projects throughout southern West Virginia.