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$3.3M Grant Awarded

Justice announces water system funds

The Inter-Mountain photos by Edgar Kelley Gov. Jim Justice, at right, shakes hands with Coalton Mayor Jim Rossi Tuesday during a ceremony announcing a $3.3 million Abandoned Mine Land Grant to the town for water system renovations.

COALTON — Gov. Jim Justice visited Coalton Tuesday and awarded the small Randolph County town a $3.3 million Abandoned Mine Land Grant during a ceremony at St. Patrick Church’s Parish Hall.

The money will fund major improvements to the town’s water system, which has been in decline for many years, according to Coalton Mayor Jim Rossi.

“This water system has been in dire need of replacement for years,” Rossi said. “It will be about 53 years old and I’ve gotten up more than one night at 3 a.m. to work on it. So we are really excited about what this grant is going to do for us.”

Justice said all of the credit for making the grant happen goes to the town and the people of Coalton.

“At the end of the day, you did all this, you have absolutely done every bit of this,” Justice told the city leaders and the community members in attendance. “All I have really done is just kind of walk along behind and give my support. You can’t imagine the power in community. And the power in neighbors, and the power in belief. And the power that I know brings you together all the time.”

Justice praised the town of Coalton and its residents for years of efforts to improve the town’s water system.

Justice agreed with Rossi that the improvements are overdue and that they are crucial to helping the town thrive.

“There’s no question that revamping this whole project is vital to this community,” Justice said. “It’s vital to your elementary school, it’s vital to bringing jobs and hope right here to you. You now have the repairs and the revamping of your water system that is going to absolutely do so much good, it’s unbelievable.

“You can’t possibly expect to grow if you don’t have a water system. And you can’t possibly expect goodness at your elementary school if you don’t have a water system. You deserve a great, great, great water system and that’s all there is to it. It’s been way, way, way too long.”

Justice also reminisced during the ceremony about his days hunting grouse around the Coalton area. He also stressed the importance of everyone in the Mountain State getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

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