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The Sportsman's Legislative Caucus and others paddled along the Clinch River near St. Paul on July 13, 2018, to experience the new Clinch River State Park.

Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday he is recommending nearly $5 million in Appalachian Regional Commission grants.

The $4.9 million in recommendations are spread between 20 projects in the Appalachian region of Virginia. The Appalachian Regional Commission — a federal agency focused on economic development in the rural region — will finalize approval of project awards later this year.

Here are the projects Northam recommended for funding:

• Buchanan County: $500,000 for the Paw Paw Waterline Extension

• Covington: $217,625 for the Alleghany Highlands Drone Zone (read more about this project here)

• Radford: Downtown City of Radford Planning Grant of $35,000

• Craig County: $250,000 for the Craig County Resource Center

• Friends of Southwest Virginia: $100,000 for the Trail Development, Sustainability and Connectivity in the Mount Rogers Anchor Area

• Town of Haysi: $500,000 for the Haysi Trails Center

• Henry County: $50,000 for Fieldale Recreation Center improvements

• Lee County: $500,000 for the Giles Hollow Waterline Extension and $500,000 for the Western Lee Sewer Infrastructure Project

• Lenowisco Planning District Commission: $47,551 for the Community Foundation Development Project for SWVA

• Patrick County: $45,000 for Healthy Patrick County

• Town of Pulaski: $44,142 for Pulaski Works: Planning for a Training Center and Makerspace and $500,000 for sanitary sewer improvements at the James Hardie facility

• Town of St Paul: $200,000 for the Lyric Theater

• Southwest Regional Recreation Authority (Spearhead Trails): $300,000 for the Catalyst for Growth in Developing the Tourism Economy in the Coalfields

• Virginia Coalfield Regional Tourism Development Authority: $209,590 for the Clinch-Powell-Big Sandy Biodiversity and Conservation Destination Center (read more about economic development efforts along the Clinch River here)

• Virginia's First Regional Industrial Facility Authority: $364,000 for NRV Commerce Park grading

• Wise County: $500,000 for Banner sewer project

• Wise County Industrial Development Authority: $50,000 for Expanding Life Saving Healthcare Networks with UAS Technology and Training for Remote Medical Facilities in SWVA Feasibility Study as well as $50,000 for Feasibility of Economic Diversification Through Commercial Graphene Applications (read more about graphene research in Wise County here)

“Appalachian Regional Commission grants are a vital resource for communities in this important region of our Commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will support projects that aim to build on the momentum of other state and local initiatives to train our workforce, improve critical infrastructure, and create jobs and opportunity throughout Appalachia.”

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Amy Friedenberger is the politics reporter for The Roanoke Times. She's been a reporter here since 2014. Previously, she worked for newspapers in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter at @ajfriedenberger.

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