ARC Virginia Grants Pork and Salaries 2015-16

compiled by Lewis Loflin

For 2015 of 17 grants awarded to Virginia 11 went for admin salaries, 5 were pork, 1 unknown. This amounts to a jobs program for affluent white collar professionals and nothing for the average citizen. Since 2015 the region is worse off than ever.

"Salaries" is understood as most of the money goes for employee salaries and office expenses. Pork is simply government waste. In most cases the amounts listed often have additional money added from other grants, some agencies loan-out grants or give out grants to their friends.

ARC is a waste of money

Our local elite is in an uproar over President Trump's plan to defund the Appalachian Regional Commission. The first problem is most of the press in Virginia including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bristol Herald Courier, Roanoke Times, etc. are controlled by Warren Buffett - press objectivity has been compromised. This assures no alternate views will get into print and all push the same message.

The idea is to malign Trump at every opportunity. The biased press feigns horror at "vital" services and programs so needed by residents of Appalachia, including the Bristol region. The New York Times (March 16, 2017) proclaims Trump is taking a "gamble" cutting a program his base "depends" on. The article was vague and once again no specifics, which is usual.

To quote anti-Trump Reuters (March 17, 2017) is typical:

Four hundred of the 420 counties ARC operates voted for Trump in November's election. The 52-year old agency has run more than 650 projects in Appalachia's 13 states between 2011 and 2015 costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Its programs, some launched under Democratic former President Barack Obama, are expected to create or retain more than 23,670 jobs and train and educate over 49,000 students and workers...

The entire claim is dishonest for a number of reasons. Of the 420 counties, only about 100 are in actual Appalachia. Most of the funding goes to wealthy communities outside Appalachia, the designations are absurd. The "ARC-Designated Distressed Counties, Fiscal Year 2016" for Virginia only includes Lee County, but not Wise, Scott, Dickenson, Buchanan, and Tazewell that are in terrible shape. In 2017 they added Wise and Dickenson.

The Columbus Dispatch did a study in 1999 on where ARC funds really go and it turns out mostly wealthy communities outside of what people think of as Appalachia. As of that time $52 million went to Wise County where I grew up and nobody would have known because it produced nothing for the average citizen.

They claimed the number of high poverty (distressed) counties has been cut from 295 to 90. Yet the Associated Press on May 23, 2004 reported that the ARC had spent $10 billion over 40 years and "the number of counties in the region that are considered 'distressed' have been reduced from 223 to 91 since 1965." Then why if only 223 counties were "distressed" do we have 410 counties? Now we have 295 down to 90 in 2017? Which is it?

It' hard to say with these agencies in particular how much of the funding goes to public good and not just floating the agency itself. There's no accountability or measurable standards.

2016 was more of the same and often to the same people. Of these 18 grants 10 are salaries, 6 are pork, 2 are infrastructure of questionable value.

Virginia LENOWISCO Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-A-C45 $91,280 Salaries

Virginia Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-B-C44 $102,072 Salaries

Virginia Mt Rogers Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative GrantVA-711-C-C46 $93,621 Salaries

Virginia Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative GrantVA-711-E-C45 $60,814 Salaries

Virginia Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-F-C44 $39,936 Salaries

Virginia West Piedmont Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-G-C6 $39,936 Salaries

Virginia New River Valley Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative GrantVA-711-D-C44 $68,436 Salaries

Virginia Lincoln Memorial University Appalachian Veterinary Project Career & Technical Education VA-18188 $500,000 ?

Virginia Community Solar & Learning Center Community Infrastructure VA-18189 $500,000 Pork

Virginia Cleveland Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Project Arts-Culture-Tourism VA-18190 $362,791 Pork

Virginia My SWVA Opportunity: Regional Entrepreneurship Blueprint Implementation Business Technical Assistance VA-18191 $50,000 Pork, salaries

Virginia CNRA Center of Excellence for UAV Operations Career & Technical Education VA-1819 $50,000 Pork, salaries

Virginia The Summit Center for Higher Education Educational Achievement/Attainment VA-18193 $68,304 Salaries

Virginia Certifications in Precision Machining Career & Technical Education VA-18194 $100,000 Salaries, pork

Virginia Big Stone Gap - Downtown Redevelopment Community Revitalization VA-18230 $500,000 Pork

Virginia Consolidated Technical Assistance Grant State Administrative Grant VA-7782-C33 $240,000 Salaries

Virginia VA DHCD State Basic Agency Administrative Costs State Administrative Grant VA-17076-C2 $90,677 Salaries

2016 Grants more of the same often the same people.

Virginia VA DHCD State Basic Agency Administrative Costs State Administrative Grant VA-17076-C3 $149,388 Salaries

Virginia Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C45-B $92,249 Salaries

Virginia New River Valley Regional Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C45-D $69,603 Salaries

Virginia Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C45-F $41,844 Salaries

Virginia LENOWISCO Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C46-A $92,249 Salaries

Virginia Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C46-E $61,810 Salaries

Virginia Mt Rogers Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C47-C $94,927 Salaries

Virginia West Piedmont Planning District Commission Admin Grant LDD Administrative Grant VA-711-C7-G $41,844 Salaries

Virginia Consolidated Technical Assistance Grant State Administrative Grant VA-7782-C34 $240,000 Salaries

Virginia Mountain Empire Community College Healthcare Simulation Access Career & Technical Education VA-18522 $100,000 Salaries, Pork

Virginia Southwest Virginia Cultural Tourism Expansion Arts-Culture-Tourism VA-18523 $500,000 Pork

Virginia Bristol Passenger Rail Study Transportation VA-18524 $100,000 Pork

Virginia Appalachian Medicinal Herb Growers Consortium Phase II Business Technical Assistance VA-18555 $125,930 Pork

Virginia Wired Road Authority Wired Road Connector Community Infrastructure VA-18556 $300,000 about $130 million already spent.

Virginia Emory & Henry Classrooms & Lab Facilities Career & Technical Education VA-18557 $500,000 Pork underwriting expensive private college.

Virginia Elydale Water Line Replacement Community Infrastructure VA-18558 $140,000 OK

Virginia Damascus Downtown Waterfront Asset Development Community Revitalization VA-18582 $499,908 Pork

Virginia Bassett Historic Train Depot Restoration Arts-Culture-Tourism VA-18583 $500,000 Pork