Appalachian Regional Commission federal co-chair Gayle Manchin visited Ashe County last week.

The Ashe Post and Times reports Manchin was sworn in on May 26, and this visit was part of an introductory trip to Western North Carolina.

Her visit included a trip to Lansing, a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway and an early morning tour of downtown West Jefferson.

Manchin noted the importance of communities preserving their history while at the same time, creating a new vitality.

Manchin commented that it takes the combined efforts of federal, state and local governments working together to make things happen.

In the past the ARC has assisted Ashe County by providing a $22,000 grant for WiFi in downtown West Jefferson, half of what was a $40,000 project, as well as a $300,000 dollar grant for a water and sewer infrastructure project.