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Martinsburg to get more block grant money

February 26, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The City of Martinsburg is one of eight West Virginia municipalities slated to receive additional money for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs as part of the federal stimulus bill, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd's office announced Thursday.

City Manager Mark Baldwin said Byrd's office notified the city Wednesday it would receive $105,460 for community projects that target low- and moderate-income residents.

"This assistance is an important step in the process of improving the economy and the communities in West Virginia," Byrd said in a press release about the funding to the cities and another $4.5 million to be allocated by the state.

"With this funding, the state and local governments now have the ability to directly affect change in West Virginia," Byrd said. "I trust that they will invest the money responsibly, and in the areas in which it will have the most effect and help to save and create the most jobs."

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The city is working on a storm sewer project in the South Raleigh Street area to address persistent flooding concerns thanks to previous CDBG funding, Baldwin said.

Past projects completed with CDBG funding included a similar storm sewer project on Water Street, replacement of a bridge on East John Street, improvements at two or three parks in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and contributions to the Boys & Girls Club in Martinsburg and other outside public agencies, Baldwin said.

Baldwin said a particular project has not been identified for the stimulus money, but anticipated the city could find projects to spend it on "very quickly."

- Matthew Umstead

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