American Rescue Plan spending to be made public on WV website

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia is poised to receive billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan.

City and county leaders across the state see this as a chance to work on needed infrastructure projects.

In South Charleston, Mayor Frank Mullens says he’ll be designating it for improving broadband as the city continues to grow.

The city of South Charleston will be getting $5 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan.

Mullens says South Charleston was already in good financial standing before the pandemic, but these federal dollars will go help.

“It’s going to help us do some things that we may have had to put on hold for a little bit,” he said.

In total, the Mountain State will be receiving $4 billion dollars in federal relief.

“If the four years we’ve been in office has taught us anything, that is that fraud happens anytime large amounts of money are being spent,” said West Virginia State Auditor JB McCuskey.

McCuskey says there are currently 89 cases of fraud by public employees.

He says his office is delivering a cloud-based system to every Mayor and County Commission in the state where they will periodically report any spending from these funds.

That data will then be uploaded to the website for the public to see.

“If anyone decides that they do want to steal this money, they will be caught quickly by our office and prosecuted by the full extent of the law,” he said.

Fraud aside, the state auditor says it’s to prevent a wasted opportunity.

“So that ten years down the road, people can say the billions of dollars received from the federal government finally fixed the problems of our waters and sewer lines, our infrastructure, our broadband and we actually increased the livability of our state.”

The South Charleston Mayor agrees.

“So businesses can continue to do their virtual learning, businesses zoom, whatever it may be, without interruption.”

Mullens says the money will be distributed in two parts, with the first part set to arrive within the next three weeks.

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