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Gov. Beshear announces more than $5 million in grants to Kentucky cities and counties

(WBKO)
Published: May. 28, 2020 at 4:32 PM CDT
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In collaboration with the Department for Local Government, Gov. Andy Beshear today announced more than $5 million in grants to six local governments for water and sewer projects across Kentucky.

“I wish we could physically celebrate these awards together, but as we continue to keep Kentuckians safe from COVID-19, I am glad these projects will improve the quality of life for our families in these areas,” said Gov. Beshear. “Reliable water and sewer are basic human necessities.”

DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene noted this funding will improve critical infrastructure. “These projects are vitally important and protect Kentuckians from water shortages, public safety concerns and environmental hazards,” he said.

Hart County:

To expand an existing wastewater pre-treatment facility, Hart County received a combined $1.5 million from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant.

This expansion will greatly increase the capacity of the plant, which will aid in the announced expansions of T. Marzetti and Sister Schubert’s. Beyond improving its unique advantage at attracting businesses in the food industry, this project will create 72 jobs.

“As we have said many times before, Hart County has been blessed,” said Judge Executive Joe Choate. “We have been blessed with incredible industries that offer not only our residents, but residents from many surrounding counties incredible job opportunities. These opportunities become careers for a lifetime. We are again so excited about further expansion of Sister Schubert and all that they bring to Hart County. This opportunity was able to come to fruition by cooperation from Federal, State and Local support.”

Lancaster:

The City of Lancaster received $1 million from CDBG and $372,600 from ARC to improve the sanitary sewer system. The funding will be used to rehabilitate existing sewer lines, manholes and a lift station. The updates will ensure more efficient wastewater treatment and service and improve public health. The updates will also lower water rates in Lancaster, which are some of the highest in the area. Upon completion, the sewer system will better serve 169 businesses and 1,855 households.

“We have an older sewer system with infiltration and inflow problems,” said Mayor Marshall Norton. “This funding will allow us to do work on the plant, manholes and lines to prevent those problems. Over time, the updates will prevent more moisture from getting into the lines when it rains, which will lead to better, cheaper service for our community.”

Perry County:

Perry County was awarded a $1,169,986 grant from ARC in conjunction with $604,272 in funding from other sources for the Vicco Wastewater Treatment Plant & Sewer Collection Project. With the funding, the county will update the existing facility and will add new equipment and sewer lines. These upgrades will bring the Perry County Water and Sewer District into compliance with Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) regulations, contributing to better health for Perry County residents.

“This is a much needed project. The system has been outdated for 20-plus years,” said Judge Executive Scott Alexander. “Any time you can bring infrastructure like this to a community, it makes the quality of life much better for everyone.”

Edmonton:

The City of Edmonton received $500,000 from ARC paired with $4.5 million in local funds for improvements to their water storage and distribution system. Edmonton experiences issues with water quality because of equipment malfunctions. To solve this issue, the city will use the funding to replace 41,800 linear feet of existing water line, renovate and perform piping modifications on existing tanks, build a new water storage tank and replace two pump stations. The improvements will provide cleaner water to 11 businesses and 207 households.

“We, the City of Edmonton, appreciate the ARC grant we received for the Edmonton Water Improvement Project and are dedicated to continue supplying our customers with good clean water for generations to come,” said Mayor Doug Smith. “This grant will assist in the funding of this project and we are so grateful for the assistance from DLG and ARC."

Estill County:

Estill County Water District (ECWD) currently loses 39 percent of all water produced at its water treatment plant. To correct this issue, the Estill County Water District received $500,000 from the ARC in conjunction with $2,399,450 in local funds to replace failing metering equipment and install new equipment to prevent water loss during line breaks. This project will provide cleaner, more efficient water access to 215 businesses and 3,600 households.

“On behalf of the Estill County Water District (ECWD), the Board of Commissioners and staff, I want to thank Governor Andy Beshear, Department for Local Government, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Bluegrass Area Development District for supporting Estill County Water District’s water loss project,” said ECWD General Manager Audrea Miller. “This funding will provide a much-needed upgrade to our distribution system and will equip our staff with the tools they need to reduce the unaccounted-for water in Estill County therefore allowing us to continue providing clean, reliable and affordable access to water to our community and be better stewards of a precious resource. We are thankful for this funding and what it will mean for the citizens of Estill County.”

“This project has done a great thing for this area,” said Judge Executive Donnie Watson. “It will eliminate a major health hazard, will improve living conditions in this area and will keep water from standing in ditches.”

Manchester:

To improve sewer lines, the City of Manchester received $126,800 from ARC. Due to erosion, the Goose Creek sewer line is exposed and at risk of damage, which could cause a major public health hazard. To ensure safety, the city will install 400 linear feet of new sewer line under Goose Creek to prevent future exposure. Upon completion, this project will provide safe, reliable sewer to 25 businesses and 150 households.

“We had land wash out, which is a huge environmental hazard that needs to be cleaned up,” said Mayor James Ed Garrison. “It’s a big project for the health of our community and those around us.”

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