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W.Va. Auditor to launch website to track infrastructure funds

W.Va. Auditor to launch website to track infrastructure funds
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:17 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act promises nearly $6 billion in federal funds to enhance West Virginia’s roads, bridges, airports, broadband access and water systems.

It could be a game changer for economic development. That is as long as the money is spent in the correct manner.

“Whether you think this is a good bill or a bad bill, we are not in a position to waste $6 billion of federal money that is designed to make the lives of West Virginians better,” said state Auditor J.B. McCuskey.

The state auditor announced Wednesday plans to launch a website where West Virginians can track how the money is spent. It will be similar to an ongoing effort by his office to track COVID-relief dollars received by counties and cities.

Kanawha County was among local governments that supported the effort, and Commission President Kent Carper sees value in tracking infrastructure dollars as well.

“Well, we’ve seen what happens to public funds in West Virginia,” Carper said. “We’ve seen what happens with public funds at the federal level. It’s either wasted sometimes or sometimes corruptly used. So it’s very important.”

“The only people who can truly ensure that this money is spent properly, is the people who are watching this on television,” McCuskey said. “It’s our office’s mission and our goal is to make sure they have every bit of information they need to tell their elected officials that what they’re doing is right or what they’re doing isn’t right.”

Once launched, McCuskey hopes the infrastructure tracker will be readily accessible, much like the West Virginia Checkbook feature on his office’s website.

The Auditor’s Office hopes to launch the COVID-relief and infrastructure trackers next year. A delay in federal reporting deadlines had pushed back implementation of the state’s COVID-relief software.

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