Access, security upgrades for Big Cherry

Stephen Igo • Jan 24, 2017 at 12:38 PM

BIG STONE GAP -- Access and security upgrades are in the works for Big Stone Gap's Big Cherry Reservoir, thanks to a $451,000 funding package announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Virginia Rural Development program.

The funding package is comprised of a $361,000 low interest loan and a $90,000 grant to the Town of Big Stone Gap to improve aspects of the town's primary water source.

The money will be used to install gravity type retaining walls around the reservoir access road, road improvements including pothole repair, cleaning and regrading ditches, culvert outlet protection and additional drainage culverts in and around slope failure areas.

The project will also include the installation of several closed circuit security cameras connected to the town's water treatment plant and police department, perimeter fencing and additional lighting around the dam, and an access control gate system at the treatment plant.

Last year Big Stone Gap received a $25,000 USDA Predevelopment Planning Grant for the project. The funding package announced Monday is through the USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.

"Ensuring there is a reliable, clean water supply for rural Virginians is vital, and ensuring access to, maintenance of, and security around that water is just as important," said Virginia USDA Rural Development Acting State Director Janice Stroud-Bickes.

"We work with towns like Big Stone Gap across Virginia to help find solutions to water issues because establishing and stabilizing adequate access to water is the foundation for healthy living, strong quality of life and positive economic development."

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