FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear announced $2.5 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants for two projects in Eastern Kentucky that will upgrade waterlines, create jobs and build a better Kentucky.
The grant funding is administered by the Department for Local Government (DLG). Grantees include the City of Cumberland and the Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority in Grayson.
“These projects are great for Eastern Kentucky and will provide better utility service, create jobs and foster real opportunity,” said Gov. Beshear. “These advancements will help us sprint out of the COVID-19 pandemic this year and will help us build the stronger, better Kentucky we’ve always imagined.”
DLG Commissioner and Gov. Beshear’s ARC Representative Dennis Keene explained how important these projects are for Eastern Kentucky families.
“ARC investments have transformed Appalachian communities for decades,” said Commissioner Keene. “These projects will make a real difference in Eastern Kentucky because they are more than investments in infrastructure, they are investments in our families. Thanks to these projects, hundreds of Kentuckians will have better utility service and access to jobs in their community.”
Cumberland will use $500,000 for much-needed waterline improvements. The city will upgrade 10,000 linear feet of distribution lines from the Cumberland Water Treatment Plant along U.S. Highway 119 and will connect the Letcher County Water and Sewer District with Cumberland’s system. Construction also includes building two water pump stations and a 157,000-gallon water storage tank. These upgrades will prevent water loss, frequent waterline breaks and contamination. Upon completion, upgrades will deliver better water service for five businesses and 200 households, and provide new water service for 150 households in Collier’s Creek. In addition to the ARC funding, the project also includes $800,000 in local funds for a total of $1.3 million in total project funding.
“The citizens of the Tri-Cities and neighboring communities in Letcher County are deserving of these funds that will provide a safe, reliable source of clean water,” said Cumberland Mayor Charles Raleigh. “We are grateful for the collaborative efforts of Gov. Andy Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers and Sen. Mitch McConnell to provide this ARC grant. Without it, a project of this size would be cost prohibitive. Many small steps have been taken over nearly 10 years to obtain this grant and it is a dream come true to see it becoming a reality.”
The Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority in Grayson was approved for $2 million to construct a 65,000-square-foot metal building on a build-ready site at the EastPark Industrial Center, an industrial site created through an interlocal agreement between Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties on a former strip mining site. The incoming business will use the building for warehousing and distribution. The project will create 150 jobs and encourage new investment and economic development. In addition to the ARC funding, the Industrial Authority will also use $2.327 million in local funds for a total of $4.327 million for this phase of the project. The Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority also received $1.5 million from the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program for another portion of the project.
“We are grateful for this investment in the EastPark Industrial Center, which will create jobs and bring real opportunity to Northeastern Kentucky,” said David Michael, chair of the Northeast Kentucky Industrial Development Authority Inc. “We appreciate the support of Gov. Beshear, the Department for Local Government and the Appalachian Regional Commission because this grant will help us create jobs, attract new investors and will change lives for hundreds of Kentuckians in the region.”