Eleni Knight, an Assistant Project Manager in CEC’s Bridgeport office, spearheaded an effort to secure millions of dollars in grant funding for clients in the Water Resources practice.
She learned of an untapped funding source for West Virginia infrastructure projects through the Army Corps of Engineers. “This is a non-traditional funding source, but when I heard that there were uncaptured grant dollars remaining, I knew some of our projects had a fighting chance. I talked to Matt Fluharty (Vice President) and he said ‘go for it.’”
Eleni submitted the applications for five CEC water or wastewater projects located in West Virginia in October 2022. All of the projects were in the preliminary design phase and the scope and costs associated with them had already been decided.
After months of waiting, the grants were announced May 16 by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV-R). Four of the five projects submitted by Eleni were funded, totaling a whopping $6.93 million.
“Through my roles on both the EPW and Appropriations committees, I work closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine where we need to improve our infrastructure to best serve residents, and today (May 16) is a significant example of that work coming to fruition. I am thrilled that so many communities across West Virginia will benefit from projects now able to move forward thanks to this funding. Our local officials deserve support from their federal partners in advancing key priorities like water extension projects and wastewater upgrades, and these dollars will provide a huge boost for our communities,” Senator Capito said.
The CEC projects receiving funding include:
- City of Pennsboro Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project Phase I, City of Pennsboro, Ritchie County: $1,780,000
- Town of Newburg Wastewater System Improvements Project, Town of Newburg, Preston County: $1,650,000
- Town of West Union Wastewater System Improvements Project, Town of West Union, Doddridge County: $1,900,000
- City of Kingwood Wastewater System Improvements Project, City of Kingwood Sanitary Sewer Works, Preston County: $1,600,000
“I am beyond ecstatic,” Eleni said. “This funding either reduces the amount of loan required or increase the project scope, ultimately lessening the burden on municipalities’ financially and resourcefully by reducing operation and maintenance. The Town of Newburg and City of Pennsboro projects will now be fully funded thanks to this grant. It helps all of the municipalities and their customers.”
She said the municipalities are so thankful and that’s when it really hits home. “Knowing the impact we can have is the sweet part of this job. People look to us for help. These councils are doing the best they can to improve their communities. This funding goes a long way in helping them accomplish that.”