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RCDA seeking loan, grant funds

ELKINS — The Randolph County Development Authority is seeking a loan and a grant.

The RCDA board of directors voted to seek a $5 million loan through the West Virginia Economic Development Authority.

“This money will pay the difference in the construction cost between what the contract was what the money that Armstrong put in and the $2.5 million dollar grant that we got… So, that is the gap funding. This project is for the AHF products, formerly Armstrong flooring, expansion project,” Robbie Morris, the RCDA’s executive director, said at the November RCDA meeting.

Federal, state and local officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 22 at the AHF Products plant, formerly known as Armstrong Flooring, to honor the new 85,000-square foot expansion of the Beverly facility.

AHF Products manufactures hardwood flooring products and acquired Armstrong Flooring in late 2018.

This new expansion improves the flow of distribution within the plant and has the potential to create many new jobs over the next 10 years, officials said.

The Beverly facility is the largest pre-finished hardwood flooring plant in the country. Made possible by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the expansion project was announced by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., along with federal, state and local officials, the Randolph County Development Authority and Armstrong leaders in October 2018.

The RCDA board also voted to seek a Local Economic Development Grant through the West Virginia Development Office. The grant will be used for operations and developing the economic development program for the county, officials said.

“We have applied for this grant for the 26th year in a row. The amount is $22,727. It will come to the Development Authority,” Morris said.