Millions in Investments Signals Potential for an Appalachian Revival
In the heart of Eastern Kentucky, a tight-knit community thrives against the odds. Lawrence County is a testament to the unwavering dedication of local leaders and their commitment to improving the lives of Eastern Kentuckians. Party lines blend, signaling an Appalachian revival, where morality and a blue-collar mindsight eclipse the beckoning of the 24-hour news cycle.
Respect Forges Progress
Three decades ago, a junior lawmaker and firefighter forged a friendship in Lawrence County. Fast forward to the present, Harold Slone now serves as Louisa Mayor while Rocky Adkins is Senior Advisor to the Governor. Both will tell you it was those early years and the respect they built for one another that paved the way for Monday’s announcement of $5.5 million in investments pouring into the local community.
“The projects we’re funding are improving infrastructure and tourism that will bring more people here to Eastern Kentucky,” said Adkins. “Investing in our local communities moves all Kentuckians forward. When state and local leaders work together, days like today are possible.”
Investments That Matter
The funds for these investments come from various sources, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, for which Governor Andy Beshear has been elected as the state co-chair representing Kentucky and other Appalachian states.
The Big Sandy Water District will receive $4.3 million to replace aging water lines between Louisa and Catlettsburg, ensuring cleaner and more accessible water for the community.
Adkins also announced nearly $1 million in additional funding commitments from the Cleaner Water Program. The Big Sandy Water District received $233,000 for a project that will provide 58 homes with drinkable water for the first time.
Meanwhile, a $756,713 commitment will help the City of Louisa replace old water lines and extend public water service to nine additional homes.
“The funds announced today will all build up our infrastructure and help us better serve our people,” said Mayor Harold Slone. “These kinds of investments ensure we provide essential services to our community.”
Transportation and Tourism for Economic Growth
Transportation is a vital component of any community’s development, and the Transportation Department’s discretionary funds will provide Lawrence County with over $230,000 to improve three roads. Judge Phil Carter said he is optimistic that this investment will enhance infrastructure and safety in the county, benefiting school buses and anyone traveling portions of Glenwood Branch Road, Roe Creek, and Left Fork Morgans Creek Road.
Tourism has played a significant role in the community’s economic growth, with Kentucky experiencing its best year ever in 2022, generating an economic impact of $12.9 billion. The Lawrence County Tourism Commission will receive over $43,000 to support travel marketing and promotion. Wes Kingsmore leads those efforts and touted Lawrence County’s robust commitment to the arts, including live community and professional performances at Mountain Movers Theatre Company.
Building a Bright Future
State Senator Phillip Wheeler underlined the importance of government working for the people, emphasizing the value of proper infrastructure and job creation. He acknowledges the strong values held by the community and the need to invest in them, allowing the region to shine once more.