They’ve been called pork, earmarks and, most recently, congressionally directed spending.
Regardless of what these federal set-asides are called, they represent an opportunity for a long list of governmental bodies and state and local agencies appealing to Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito to include money for their respective projects in the next federal spending bill.
The Monongalia County Commission provided about a dozen letters of support for various requests leading up to last week’s deadline.
Morgantown Utility Board — $14,359,000, or roughly half of a $30 million project to upgrade and overhaul the Cheat Lake wastewater treatment plant.
Star City — $8 million for stormwater and sanitary sewer upgrades in the Fenwick Street area to address periodic flooding and sewer backups into area homes.
Morgantown Municipal Airport — $7 million to continue the airport’s $65 million 1,001-foot runway extension project and creation of a neighboring 90-acre commerce park.
Mylan Park Foundation — $1 million for the construction of 14 cabins in the Mylan Park KOA RV Campground & Resort.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation also got the commission’s backing on a request for funds in support of improvements to I-79 Exit 155.
That future project previously received $2 million in earmarks as part of $1.7 trillion Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus bill.
The Dominion Post reached out to the WVDOT regarding the amount of the funding request but didn’t hear back in time for this report.
Monongalia County Administrator Rennetta McClure said the county is not requesting any congressionally directed dollars of its own.
In addition to the airport project, the city of Morgantown is seeking $2 million to acquire underutilized property to eliminate blight and create affordable housing options and green spaces.
The city is also seeking $1 million to purchase and install lighting along the rail-trail as well as $750,000 to design and construct a trash wheel machine to place in the river near the Morgantown Lock and Dam; $300,000 to create a family health clinic for city employees; and $250,000 to fix and upgrade lighting at the Metropolitan Theatre.
Earmarks have also been requested for: a new pedestrian bridge at the Coopers Rock State Forest Overlook; operation of the Hope Hill Sobering Center; a new roof for the Arnettsville Community Center; and a new CT scanner, hybrid operating room and EP lab for Mon Health Medical Center.