Projects at a public building and a local business in Wayne County are getting a boost from the federal government through U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development grants.

A recent press release from the office of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced that a $1,087,000 USDA Rural Development grant was awarded to the Wayne County Building Commission (Wayne County Commission) to enlarge and renovate the third-floor courtroom of the Wayne County Courthouse.

The Wayne County Building Commission will also renovate offices and connected areas that are used with the courtroom, and improvements will include those relating to security and accessibility, according to the release.

Wayne County Administrator Jim Boggs said changes implemented during the renovations will include reorienting the courtroom, which was previously used by the magistrate court before it moved into a different space, and adding a new security wall corridor and new ADA-compliant restrooms to the third floor.

The third-floor courtroom will be renovated into a second circuit courtroom, Commissioner President Jeff Maddox said during the Wayne County Commission’s March 25 meeting.

He said it was “desperately needed.”

Wayne County currently has two circuit court judges, but only one circuit courtroom, which is on the courthouse’s second floor.

A $150,753 USDA Rural Development grant also was awarded to Brunetti’s Inc. (Brunetti’s Italian Bakery) to purchase and install a 167 kilowatt array, according to the release.

John Brunetti, president of the Kenova business that makes hoagie buns, hamburger buns and pizza dough, said 348 solar panels have already been installed on the bakery’s roof by Solar Holler.

“It’s gonna help with my utilities,” Brunetti said. “It’s gonna reduce my utility payment, which in turn, will give me more capital to invest back into the bakery … and the thought of using the sun to make our product is really kind of a cool idea and everything, so that was exciting and new to venture into the clean energy part of it.

“I really like that idea, because we’re capturing something that’s around us all the time,” Brunetti said. “Now, we’re actually taking advantage of it and utilizing it ... I’ll be able to recoup some money assets to use in the bakery to expand my business, so it’s going to give me future growth potential financially.”

According to the release, the project will realize $13,914 per year in savings and will replace 198,778 kilowatt hours (kWh) (100%) per year, which is enough to power 16 homes.