Gov. Beshear Announces $8.9 Million to Promote Health and Safety in Elliott, Lawrence and Morgan Counties
SANDY HOOK, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2022) – Today, in keeping with his priorities to improve public health and safety in the commonwealth, Gov. Andy Beshear announced $8.9 million in awards for Elliott, Lawrence and Morgan counties, which will go toward building an emergency services center, constructing a food pantry facility and extending waterlines in Morgan County.
“The funds announced today target critical infrastructure in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are improving our emergency response facilities and ensuring folks have access to food and clean water. Together, we can build that better Kentucky we all want for our families.”
Elliott County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) & 911 Center
Gov. Beshear presented $4.6 million in Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program funds to Elliott County to construct a combination emergency services center that is central in the county. This award was first announced Oct. 19 at the Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit. This building will primarily serve as an EOC, 911 Call Center and fire department with room for local ambulance service vehicles and staff. When needed, it will also serve as a warming center and shelter for the residents of Elliott County. The EOC can also be used as a classroom for continuing education for first responders.
“In the wake of our 911 dispatch and ambulance service fire in 2017, our dispatchers have been working from a side room at the county’s health department,” Elliott County Judge/Executive Myron Lewis said. “Also, during our ice storms of 2021, Emergency Management Director Jim Skaggs had to facilitate all groups from the county’s road and maintenance garage. This meant up to 40 volunteers and National Guard, along with our road crew team, were operating out of the county’s small garage with little resources. This new facility will be a first of its kind in Elliott and will bring us up to everyone else around the state in the forms of EOC, 911 dispatch and communications for any emergencies we may see moving forward!”
Elliott County Christian Community Center Food Bank Project
Gov. Beshear presented $1,135,385 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response funds to Elliott County for the construction of a food pantry facility for the Elliott County Christian Community Center (ECCCC). The new building will provide critical food and commodity resources to residents of Elliott County. The new food pantry will include storage areas for dry goods, commodities and the temperature-controlled storage of perishable items. The building will be owned, operated, maintained and insured by ECCCC.
“The team at ECCCC works incredibly hard for our community,” Sherry Mathis, director of ECCCC said. “As of May of this year, we have distributed over 75,000 pounds of food and commodities to residents. This new building is going to help us serve even more people in need of our services. We want to thank everyone involved in helping us secure these much-needed funds.”
With the increased capacity to store perishable items, ECCCC will be able to serve even more residents suffering from hunger.
“Elliott County, like so many other communities, recognizes the vast need for better services and facilities to provide them to our citizens,” Elliott County Judge/Executive Myron Lewis said. “This food pantry will be the first of its kind for us, and we could not be more thankful to Gov. Beshear, the Department for Local Government and those who serve our friends and neighbors now here in Elliott County.”
Resurfacing of Bill Branch
Gov. Beshear also awarded Elliott County $150,000 in KYTC discretionary funds to resurface 0.8 miles of Bill Branch from the entrance off of Kentucky Route 32 up to existing paved route. The last time work was completed on Bill Branch was in 2003.
“We and our hard-working citizens on Bill Branch are more than appreciative to the Governor, Secretary Gray and Commissioner Lewis for their assistance in providing us with the resurfacing funds requested,” Judge Lewis said.
Patching of McIntier Road in Lawrence County
Gov. Beshear presented $57,000 in KYTC discretionary funds to Lawrence County. The funds will allow Lawrence County to patch 0.8 miles of McIntier Road.
“Maintaining our roads is a priority for me and I appreciate the funding we were able to include in the road plan,” Rep. Scott Sharp of Ashland said. “After all, we depend on our roads to get to work, school, church and entertainment and they are critical to our quality of life. I’m glad to see the Transportation Cabinet moving forward with the project and the Governor talking about these investments.”
“This patching project is going to help ensure the roads in Lawrence County are safe for our people,” Lawrence County Judge/Executive Phillip Carter said. “Investing in basic infrastructure like this improves the quality of life of our people. We want to thank the state for their continued investment in Lawrence County.”
County Wide Water Line Extensions
Gov. Beshear awarded $2,988,000 to Morgan County in Cleaner Water Program funds to construct approximately 55,600 linear feet of waterline to extend service to unserved areas throughout Morgan County. This project includes two pump stations, one new 150,000 gallon tank and one 9,000 gallon tank to supply water to the new service areas. This project will extend service to approximately 80 households in Morgan County.
“This project is going to benefit our citizens by providing clean drinking water to multiple areas in Morgan County, and this has always been a priority of my administration,” Morgan County Judge/Executive John Will Stacy said. “Our thanks to all involved in securing this funding.”
About the Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization Program
The AMLER program is an opportunity for Appalachian communities to achieve economic and community development goals in areas that have been impacted by the downturn of coal production. AMLER is funded from the federal general treasury through annual appropriations to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The funding is administered at the state level by the Energy and Environment Cabinet.
About the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Program
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated Kentucky’s Department for Local Government $38 million to help communities prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic from the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response (CDBG-CV) program. The CDBG-CV program guidelines can be found here.
About the Cleaner Water Program
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, $500 million has been appropriated through a bipartisan agreement with the General Assembly to provide clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky since 2021. The 2022 funding will be allocated 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.