by Kate Evans
The Town of Paw Paw was awarded $54,302.50 in federal funding for improvements to the Paw Paw Municipal Park that is located behind Paw Paw Schools.
The funding is part of $2,443,919 in monies that the National Park Service is investing in recreation and restoration projects in state and local parks across West Virginia.
Senator Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Shelley Moore Capito announced the $2.4 million in funding last week that includes the Paw Paw monies. The money comes from the Manchin- spearheaded 2020 Great Outdoors Act, which secured permanent and full mandatory $900 million funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
50% local match
Town of Paw Paw Clerk Ron Davis said that the $54,302.50 in federal funding is half of a 50/50 grant that will be used for tearing down and replacing the park pavilion at the Municipal Park and getting new playground equipment that’s handicapped-accessible.
The playground equipment is the GameTime PrimeTime Stringer’s Ridge model.
Davis said that the project’s full cost — $108,605 — is double that of the federal funding they will be receiving. Local funding of $54,302.50 is coming from the Town of Paw Paw, the Morgan County Commission and the Tom and Virginia Seely Foundation.
Davis said they can’t start the project until they actually receive the Land and Water Conservation funding. With it being so late in the year now he’s hoping that they can do the project in the spring. They had originally hoped to do it this fall. The park pavilion is in bad shape, he said.
Other individual state awards included in the Land and Conservation funding are $900,000 for a Mannington Hough park pool replacement in Mannington, $750,000 for Canaan Valley State Park Trails accessibility improvements in South Charleston, $668,117 Southwood Park Pool enhancement in Parkersburg and $71,500 for Myles Stadium replacement Phase II in Pennsboro.
Manchin and Capito said in the press release that they were both proud to have supported the Great American Outdoors Act.
“Investing in our state and local parks is critical to supporting West Virginia’s strong and growing outdoor recreation economy and strengthening our local communities….This significant investment in our precious public lands and parks will help to improve, preserve and protect recreational spaces for generations to come,” said Senator Manchin.
“West Virginia is recognized across the country for our beautiful landscape and recreation opportunities, which is why it continues to be important that we invest in our state parks and forests, increasing access for both our residents and tourists,” Senator Capito said.