Three devastated Virginia coal camp communities get a chance to revitalize

Old coal camp communities in Southwest Virginia are becoming eyesores. But one group wants to change this.

People Incorporated of Virginia is working to revitalize Dante, Trammel, and Clinchco. They’re working on grant applications to submit to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) early this month. They hope this will give them enough money to bring these communities back to life.

These communities are very hopeful,” Maggie Costello from People Incorporated said in an email. “The whole process will take anywhere from 2-4 years to see actual physical results, but we are building a strong foundation for all three of these community’s future by providing in depth studies through the DHCD planning grant process.

Since the coal mines are no longer, jobs became scarce and people started moving out.

These areas are torn to shreds. Debris is everywhere, roofs are caving in, and houses are burned down. But now they have a chance to clean it all up.

It’s never going to be like it was, I don’t think, but we’ve got to start somewhere,” Dante resident Arthur Phillips said.

Residents have a whole list of wants and needs. In Dante the most urgent is to fix up houses, tear down old houses, replace roads, get a cell tower, and add a community store.

Clinchco has already received $30,000 in a planning grant format to provide a study in economic development, infrastructure needs, housing needs, and other community needs/wants.

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