Gov. Beshear Awards More Than $400,000 for Water Infrastructure Improvements in Martin County
INEZ, Ky. (March 18, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $411,148 to the Martin County Water District through the Better Kentucky Plan’s Cleaner Water Program.
“This announcement is especially important given the challenges this Martin County has faced for far too long,” Gov. Beshear said. “We have been working with this community to make positive changes for the region. Together, our team, the Public Service Commission, the Martin County Water District, Martin County Concerned Citizens and other stakeholders, have been meeting regularly to oversee efforts to improve water service to residents, and today’s announcement is another important milestone.”
Martin County Judge/Executive Colby Kirk, Martin County magistrates Jared Goforth, Roger Preece, Derrick Stepp, Junior Hunt and Mark Blackburn, Inez Mayor Ed Daniels, Warfield Mayor Ronald Workman, Martin County Water District Chairman Jimmy Kerr, Alliance Water Resources Manager Craig Miller and Assistant Manager JJ Ridings and other local leaders joined Gov. Beshear and his senior advisor, Rocky Adkins, for the presentation.
This award will help the Martin County Water District improve many parts of their system for better service. The district’s raw water intake and water treatment plant are in bad condition and need upgrades to ensure workers stay safe, and to prevent harm to the environment.
This project replaces existing main lines, service lines, meters valves and hydrants in an area that has been a continued source of leaks and breaks for the district. The district will also pave the access road at its raw water intake site and replace the roof over its chemical storage area. It will add a second pump trailer and water treatment plant backup generator, as well.
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million was appropriated at the close of the 2021 General Assembly through a bipartisan agreement for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.
The Big Sandy Area Development District submitted funding request for Martin County to the KIA.
“Water is an essential element of life,” Sen. Phillip Wheeler, whose district includes Martin County, said. “For far too long, the citizens of Martin County have suffered from poor water quality and failing infrastructure which has threatened their health and hurt Martin County’s potential for economic development. I appreciate the Beshear administration’s direction of a KIA Cleaner Water Funding grant from the funds appropriated by the legislature to repair deteriorating rural water lines. Working together, we can ensure that Martin County families get the clean water they need and deserve.”
“The generational impact that this Cleaner Water Project will have on our community is immeasurable. It is very exciting to see the funds that I alongside my colleagues in the legislature have fought to secure be utilized in this way,” said Rep. Norma Kirk-McCormick, who represents Martin County along with a portion of Pike County. “While our water problems are major, this will help move our infrastructure in the right direction. I appreciate the opportunity to share this exciting news with the people of my district, and I look forward to seeing the infrastructure updates that will happen as a result of our efforts.”
“On behalf of the Martin County Fiscal Court, I am grateful for these funds which will go to repair critical infrastructure in the Martin County Water District,” Judge/Executive Kirk said. “Thanks to the efforts of Gov. Beshear and other leaders, we have made substantial improvements to the system. These funds will help improve water quality and reduce the rate of water loss throughout Martin County.”
About the Cleaner Water Program
More than $152 million has been awarded to grantees to fund transformative projects since the call for projects was announced June 1. Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, collaborated with their local Area Development Districts and Area Water Management Councils to submit projects for Cleaner Water Program funding. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.
Cleaner Water program funding is allocated in three ways:
- $150 million based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act. A list of the allocations by county can be found here.
- $50 million is available for utilities to provide drinking water services to unserved, rural customers or to utilities under a federal consent decree. The KIA shall consider social, economic and environmental benefits in determining the allocations.
- $49.9 million is available to supplement a project grant for a project with a cost in excess of a county’s allocation amount and other available grant sources. The social, economic and environmental benefits shall be considered in determining project allocations. KIA will receive $75,000 to administer the grant program.
The application deadline was Nov. 19, 2021; however, KIA will make awards continuously throughout the year. All grant awardees must obligate the funds by Dec. 31, 2024.
The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.
Information about the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at governor.ky.gov/BetterKy.