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$5 million grant to pay to extend road in W.Va.

June 19, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. — Longtime plans for a 1,000-foot stretch of new road extending Fairfax Boulevard from 12th Street to the Fairfax Crossing housing development became a reality Tuesday when city officials learned they’re getting $5 million to build it.

The federal grant is being funneled through the office of U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R. W.Va., according to a news release.

Capito, a well-funded 12-year House veteran, is being challenged for a seventh term in November by Howard Swint, a political unknown from Charleston, W.Va., who is running what he said is a grass-roots, social media-based campaign.

Capito, in her release, said she was “thrilled to see such a large grant come to the Mountain State.”

Chris Bontoft, finance officer for the city of Ranson, said Tuesday the new road would connect Fairfax Boulevard with Fairfax Crossing, a new housing development adjacent to the Ranson Gateway Shopping Center across from Potomac Marketplace.

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Potomac Marketplace, across W.Va. 9, houses several retail stores, including Home Depot, Kohl’s and Weis.

Bontoft said the city’s leaders are “very thrilled to receive the grant. They’ve given us what we had hoped for.”

He said construction on the new road could begin in late 2013.

“These funds will greatly assist Ranson in their development efforts and help grow the economy here in Jefferson County,” John Reisenweber, executive director of the Jefferson County Development Authority, said in a news release.

Bontoft said Tuesday’s grant was the second federal grant that the city has received for the Fairfax Boulevard project. In 2010, it received about $1 million for planning.

The city’s dream for the extension of Fairfax Boulevard would include improvements to the road from Charles Washington Hall on South George Street to Fairfax Crossing.

The total project would cost more than $23 million, Bontoft said.

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