Gov. Beshear Presents Over $8.5 Million in Awards to Benefit Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Magoffin and Martin Counties
Funds support infrastructure, cleaner water, law enforcement, nonprofits, tourism and transportation
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (March 13, 2023) – Today, at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg, Gov. Andy Beshear presented more than $8.5 million for infrastructure, cleaner water, law enforcement, nonprofits, tourism and transportation in six counties: Breathitt, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Magoffin and Martin.
“We promised Eastern Kentucky that we would be there for them until every life and structure is rebuilt,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today, with the investments we’re making in local communities, supporting cleaner water, public safety, local nonprofits, tourism and more, we are rebuilding and ensuring prosperity for generations to come.”
“As always we are very excited to have our Governor visit Floyd County,” said Floyd County Judge/Executive Robbie Williams. “We thank him for his commitment to our region, and his partnership is much appreciated.”
Appalachian Regional Commission
Gov. Beshear announced a total of $2.9 million in funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for projects in Breathitt and Johnson counties.
The Johnson County Fiscal Court will use $2.3 million to install over 20,000 feet of sewer line. This will provide sewer service to 70 homes, four businesses, three commercial properties and a future campground site.
The Breathitt County Water District will use $600,000 to install 16,000 feet of waterline. This will improve water service for 1,900 homes and provide first-time water service to nine homes.
The ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. Gov. Beshear currently serves as the ARC’s co-chair. More information is available here.
Cleaner Water Program
Gov. Beshear announced the commitment of $3.6 million in funding from the Cleaner Water Program. The funding will go toward the following projects:
- The Paintsville Utility Commission will use $1.3 million to install over 3,000 feet of sewer line and roughly 13,000 feet of waterline to unserved areas of Johnson County.
- The Knott County Fiscal Court will use $865,672 to improve the water supply for 250 homes.
- The Magoffin County Water District will use $706,886 to extend waterlines to unserved areas in Magoffin County. This project will provide water service to 65 unserved homes.
- The Martin County Sanitation District will use $685,625 for improvements to the wastewater treatment system.
- The City of Jackson will use $698,648 to extend water service to 13 homes, increase the water system’s storage capacity and make improvements to the sewer system.
- The Breathitt County Water District will use $134,648 to improve water service for 1,900 homes and provide first-time water service to nine homes. This project will also receive $600,000 in ARC funds.
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. As the project progresses, the utility will be reimbursed by Cleaner Water Program funds.
Law Enforcement Protection Program
Gov. Beshear announced today that the City of Paintsville will receive $5,886.84, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office will receive $10,739.34 and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office will receive $9,690 in grant funding through the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s Law Enforcement Protection Program (LEPP).
LEPP provides approximately $500,000 annually to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to provide grant funds for city, county, university and school law enforcement agencies throughout the commonwealth. Agencies can apply for the program through the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to acquire essential protective equipment for Kentucky peace officers. Items can include body armor and tasers, as well as body-worn cameras.
Nonprofit Assistance Fund
The Governor awarded $716,423 to 10 nonprofits in Floyd, Johnson and Knott counties. The awards come from the Nonprofit Assistance Fund, which is helping organizations across Kentucky recover from the effects of the pandemic. The funding comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and Gov. Beshear supported the allocation of funds by the 2022 General Assembly. This fund will provide one-time direct relief payments to support the mission and long-term sustainability of each eligible nonprofit. The awards include:
- $100,000 to the Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky;
- $100,000 to the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky (AppalRED);
- $100,000 to the Christian Appalachian Project;
- $100,000 to the Hindman Settlement School;
- $100,000 to the Lotts Creek Community School;
- $100,000 to Mountain Comprehensive Care;
- $78,164 to God’s Appalachian Partnership;
- $19,575 to the Wayland Historical Society;
- $10,763 to the Mountain Sports Hall of Fame Foundation; and
- $7,921.63 to St. Vincent Mission.
Tourism Marketing Funding
Gov. Beshear awarded $111,674 to the Prestonsburg Tourism Commission and $55,094 to Paintsville Tourism Commission to support travel marketing and promotion. These awards are part of the $75 million ARPA funding supported by the Governor and allocated by the General Assembly in 2022 to boost the state’s tourism industry and economy following the decline in visitors brought on by the pandemic. They were announced by the Governor in July.
The Governor presented $255,375 in Kentucky Transportation Cabinet funding, which will help the county resurface Big Lick Branch Road and Cannel Coal Gap Road.
“The strength of our Eastern Kentucky community continues to show, even after we saw the devastating floods that occurred in our community,” said Rep. John Blanton of Salyersville. “It is amazing to see how far we have come in rebuilding our homes and business, and while there is still work to be done, I am proud of how Eastern Kentuckians continue to prove how resilient they are. I also look forward to how the awards announced today will help improve our water systems and the lives of all who live here.”
“Today marks an important day for our Eastern Kentucky community; not only is the community receiving funding to help improve waterlines, tourism and nonprofits, but we are also celebrating the progress made on rebuilding after the devastating flooding,” said Rep. Bobby McCool of Van Lear. “I am proud to be a part of a legislature that allocates funds to programs like the Cleaner Water Program and the Nonprofit Assistance Fund so that our communities can access clean water and programs that will help improve Kentuckian’s lives. It is also important we fund tourism efforts in our area, which offers more economic opportunities to those who live here and helps improve our state’s economy.”
Local Leader Quotes
“Paintsville Tourism is very thankful for the ARPA funding. With this investment we can strategically increase our marketing efforts, promote our area at signature national travel shows and implement our website redesign strategy to better engage our diverse visitors,” said Jeremiah Parsons, executive director of the Paintsville Tourism Commission. “Recognizing that Eastern Kentucky is well-positioned for tourism growth and development is an essential part of our local economic development plan for business growth. Capitalizing on opportunities like this helps to secure the self-sustaining future of our community.”
“The historic funding provided through the ARPA grant will allow dream marketing campaigns to be created at Prestonsburg Tourism, each targeting a unique visitor to our region,” said Samantha Johnson, executive director of the Prestonsburg Tourism Commission. “This funding will support Prestonsburg in creating unique marketing messages, enhancing the visitor experience and competing for the benefit of our community to an even higher degree. We’re grateful to our legislators for championing tourism and supporting eastern Kentucky’s third leading industry.”
“On behalf of the Breathitt Water District, I would like to thank Gov. Beshear and others who had a part in helping us obtain the funding for this project,” said Bobby Thorpe, chairman of the Breathitt County Water District. “It will help the people of the area receive clean water, especially after the catastrophic flooding affected so many families’ water supplies. We are grateful for all the help the Governor’s Office provided to the citizens of our county.
“We are excited to have this funding approved for projects that will allow us to provide water to unserved areas and fund needed repairs and upgrades to aging infrastructure,” said Jackson Mayor Laura Thomas. “The improvements will help support housing development and economic development in our community.”
“The Martin County Sanitation District is grateful for the support show from Gov. Beshear,” said Craig Miller, division manager of Alliance Water. “It is widely known that the water district has had its share of troubles over the years while the sanitation district has been often overlooked. The money provided from the Cleaner Water Program will provide much-needed updates and rehabilitation to the Inez and Tug Valley Wastewater Treatment plants. We are grateful for the continued support as we work towards a more sustainable water and wastewater utility in Martin County.”
“The Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund award will sustain our operations while we work to restore our facilities damaged in last year’s flood,” said Randy Campbell, executive director of the Appalachian Artisan Center.
“Mountain Comprehensive Care Center is honored to receive an award from Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund,” said President/CEO Promod Bishnoi. “This award delivers crucial resources for our fellow Kentuckians whose needs have increased tremendously. With this support, MCCC will provide additional behavioral health, addiction treatment and suicide prevention services for the communities we serve. Thank you to Gov. Beshear and Team Kentucky for reinforcing our commitment and strengthening our mission to provide quality care that offers recovery and hope.”
“We are so thankful for the award we received from the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund. These funds will provide some much-needed budgetary flexibility to help us cover unexpected or higher-than-expected expenses in the future without having to reduce our services to clients,” said Robert Johns, executive director of AppalReD Legal Aid.
“Christian Appalachian Project is grateful for the additional investment in Kentucky nonprofits. The funds we received from the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund increases our flexibility as we continue to rebuild and repair homes for many who lost everything in the flood and to provide durable goods and food across the 13 counties that were impacted last summer,” said Gloria Jordan, senior vice president for administration and philanthropy. “Thanks to donor support like this, we have already distributed durable goods and food valued at $15 million to distressed families through nonprofits in these areas since the disaster. This helps us to achieve our mission of building hope, transforming lives and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia.”