FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced more than $4.7 million in Delta Regional Authority grants will be going to 11 communities in western Kentucky during a Monday morning press conference at the state Capitol.
Beshear told the gathering we need good news like this. Earlier this month it was for projects in eastern Kentucky; this time it was for a series in the west.
“Even though we are dealing with the crisis of the moment, which is COVID, we are planning for success in the future,” he said. “No one should ever be told they have to move from where they are for a better job and better health care. No one should ever be told they shouldn’t move to a place in Kentucky because of the same. Every day we should be looking at how we can improve.”
The largest grant, $1,094,800, is going to the city of Greenville as part of the Powderly Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project, which will improve the plant and support future economic development in the area. This investment is projected to improve service for 2,646 families.
Greenville Mayor Jan Yonts, who was on hand for the announcement, says this will benefit their industrial park, “To ensure when someone comes to the industrial park, that we’ll have the infrastructure ready for them; and we are ready. If the hospital decides to build a new facility next to the medical center, we will be ready for them.”
Hopkins County Fiscal Court will use $155,500 in DRA funds, along with matching money from the county, to add five broadband communication sites, which will improve service and coverage for residents and businesses in the area.
Judge-Executive Jack Whitfield noted there is a digital divide in Kentucky, not only when you compare Louisville or Lexington to rural parts of the state, but even within his own county.
“In Madisonville and Dawson Springs, you can get good broadband access,” Whitfield said. “But as you move away from the city, there are places where access is very limited, and there are places in Hopkins County where there is no access at all. High speed internet is an absolute necessity, just like water and electricity.”
Among the other projects:
The Fulton County Industrial Development Authority will use $761,500 in DRA funds to make necessary improvements to the surface and transportation infrastructure in the Fulton County Industrial Park. This project will improve services for
several businesses and approximately 1,800 families.
--Henderson County Fiscal Court’s $339,320 grant will be used to upgrade three broadband communication stations, which will improve service and coverage for residents and businesses in the area.
--The City of Henderson will use $509,000 in DRA funds to update the South Water Treatment Plant by replacing an outdated clearwell with a new, pressed concrete clearwell. This project will improve service for 614 families and the Tyson Foods plant.
--The Logan/Todd Regional Water Commission will use $711,000 in DRA funds to update its primary intake backup generator to improve services for 27,408 families.
--Trigg County Hospital Inc. will use their $105,000 grant to create additional patient rooms and staff facilities in the hospital. Upon completion, the upgrades will improve health care in the region and will help the hospital retain five jobs.
--Webster County Fiscal Court will use $357,500 in DRA funds to purchase land to expand a training program for utility lineman, diesel mechanics and Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL). Upon completion, the program will provide workforce training for 223 Kentuckians.
--In Elkton, the Helping Hands Health Clinic Inc., has a $42,000 grant to purchase equipment for an additional general dentistry workstation at the Blount Rural Health Center, which will provide dental care to more Kentuckians in the region.
--The City of Madisonville received $509,000 to construct a 22,000-square-foot hangar at the Madisonville Regional Airport, which will support Madisonville Community College’s aviation training program. This project will retain three jobs, create 30 new jobs and provide workforce training to 90 Kentuckians.
--Sprocket Inc. in Paducah will use $170,650 in DRA funds to provide software engineering training to expand the digital workforce and economy in western Kentucky. Upon completion, this project will retain 21 jobs, create 21 new jobs and train 120 Kentuckians.
Beshear noted that 100 percent of the projects brought before the Department for Local Government ended up being awarded Delta Regional Authority grants.