CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Several north central West Virginia communities are among 21 that received more than $9.2 million in combined grant funding to remove abandoned and dilapidated buildings.

Gov. Jim Justice made the announcement about the creation of the Reclamation of Abandoned and Dilapidated Properties Program—which will administer the funding to reimburse communities for demolition projects and qualified associated expenses—before a dilapidated house in Matoaka, Mercer County, was demolished.

“Removing these structures provides a critically-needed health and safety component while clearing the way for new economic development and boosting tourism,” Justice said during the event.

According to a press release from Justice’s office, the program was made possible after a bill authorized the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to develop a statewide program to help county commissions and municipalities demolish dilapidated buildings. A survey was launched to determine which communities need the help, and 21 counties and towns were chosen for a pilot program.

The communities chosen will have one year to spend up to their approved budgeted amount, with the possibility for a single six-month extension. They must provide supporting documentation that demolition work is completed before receiving payment.

The communities chosen and the amounts they will receive are below:

  • Town of Bluefield – $1.5 million
  • City of Buckhannon – $100,000
  • Town of Clendenin – $150,000
  • City of Elkins – $300,000
  • City of Hinton – $170,500
  • Logan County – $1.5 million
  • City of Mannington – $175,000
  • McDowell County – $500,000
  • Mercer County – $1.5 million
  • City of Montgomery – $150,000
  • City of Nitro – $350,000
  • City of Oak Hill – $143,000
  • City of Parkersburg – $650,000
  • Town of Parsons – $110,000
  • City of Princeton – $275,000
  • City of St. Albans – $540,000
  • City of Salem – $104,000
  • City of Smithers – $224,000
  • City of Thomas – $245,000
  • City of Wellsburg – $290,000
  • City of Weston – $300,000