Carper and other commissioners had county grant writers apply for the grants anyway, and the funding was granted. "We've done about seven of those now," Carper said.
Carper also is proud of securing $2 million in funding from former Sen. Robert C. Byrd, for a statewide interoperable radio system that allows emergency responders to talk to each other anywhere in the state.
Carper said one of his roles as a county commissioner has been to help facilitate projects that are good for the county as a whole. "The Kanawha County Commission can't go out and build a Toyota plant," he said. "But we can take part in things like that."
Carper said it was the County Commission that helped talk former Gov. Joe Manchin into keeping the old South Charleston stamping plant from being torn down.
"That building was going to be bulldozed," Carper said. "Either that, or it would have been the largest indoor flea market in the United States."
But, with the support and urging of the County Commission, facility owner Ray Park agreed to invest $20 million in renovations to the building and Manchin agreed to pitch in $15 million. Gestamp, a Spanish automotive stamping company, has leased the building and intends to open soon.
"That's going to be 700 jobs," Carper said.
Carper said help and support from the county was also important in keeping Yeager Airport open when some officials wanted to build a regional airport in Cabell County, in saving the National Guard base from closing when federal officials wanted to shut it down, and in development of the South Charleston tech park.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.