Three area communities got an early Christmas gift this week when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the release of more than $15 million in Small Cities Block Grant funds.
As a result, a total of 1,043 households in Barbour, Randolph and Tucker counties will see improvements to their water systems.
Many take for granted the infrastructure, particularly water service, in place at their homes, schools and businesses. For others, reliable water service isn't a standard amenity. If a particular season lacks precipitation, wells either go dry or dip to a level that makes pumping water a major undertaking. Still others may have a water supply that is of poor quality.
Making these improvements will provide the residents with a healthier environment and an enhanced quality of life. It also will make their areas more attractive for people and businesses who may want to locate there.
The commitment to these projects is just one example of how West Virginia is taking strides to further economic development and give people a better place to live.
In making the announcement, Tomblin emphasized the importance of residents, government and agencies working together to ensure improvements throughout the state. This is a mindset we need to continue working toward on all local and county levels.