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Buckhannon receives REAP funding

BUCKHANNON — Among 31 recipients granted $85,117.72 in funding, the city of Buckhannon has been awarded a chunk of funds from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan) program.

Buckhannon was allotted $3,500, which will be utilized for its city wide property cleanup program and to purchase anti-litter educational materials.

Callie Cronin Sams, Buckhannon’s grant writer and information coordinator, explained the funding will help establish the city’s Good Neighbor Program, an initiative to assist qualified residents with litter cleanup or property upkeep.

Though Buckhannon does not have a huge litter problem, Cronin Sams said the program will be beneficial for those who need assistance with touch-ups, small repairs and debris picked up around their properties.

She further explained Buckhannon residents who meet certain criteria – over the age of 65, income restraints or disabilities – will have the opportunity to apply for a mini-grant to purchase supplies. The city will use the DEP grant to provide folks with the mini-grants.

Residents meeting the qualification guidelines may apply for assistance up to $1,000 to fix a problem area identified by the city’s zoning officer. In some cases, volunteers may be recruited via the Buckhannon Volunteer Center to provide labor or other services as necessary.

Cronin Sams said a small portion of the allotted funds will be utilized to purchase anti-litter literature and supplies to remind folks to keep the community clean.

Noting cigarette butts and trash can cause issues for the storm sewer system just as much as lawn clippings, Cronin Sams said materials can help relay those important messages to Buckhannon residents.

REAP funds provides litter control and recycling grants to local governments and non-profit organizations. Funding for the litter control program is generated through civil penalties imposed on litter violations, as well as state agency facility recycling revenue as described in West Virginia Code.

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