$16 million from Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to help build homes
Relief funds to help build up to 300 new homes across 13 counties
MAYFIELD, Ky. (WTVQ/PRESS RELEASE) – Five months after deadly tornadoes devastated Western Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials in Mayfield to announce that $16 million from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will help provide up to 300 homes for families in 13 Western Kentucky counties.
“The exciting new partnerships we are announcing today are really going to help our Western Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “If your home was lost in the devastating tornadoes five months ago, we are creating a real path for replacement through the donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund and the efforts of these nonprofit organizations.”
Working with the state’s Public Protection Cabinet, which administers the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, nonprofit groups Habitat for Humanity, Homes and Hope for Kentucky and The Fuller Center for Housing submitted proposals to help build up to 100 homes each. According to the governor’s office, homes can be built in the counties that were eligible for individual and household assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren counties.
Habitat for Humanity has agreed to administer $4 million to help with down payment assistance for the mortgage on a home. According to the governor’s office, Habitat hopes to build 10 homes in Bowling Green and 10 in Dawson Springs by the end of 2022 and 30 new homes in Bowling Green and 50 new homes in the Pennryile by the end of 2023.
“Kentucky Habitat for Humanity is so very humbled by the magnitude of this support and the generosity of people from across the world that chose to support Kentuckians in their time of great need,” said Mary Shearer, executive director of Kentucky Habitat for Humanity. “Many thanks to Gov. Beshear and the Public Protection Cabinet for their support!”
According to the governor’s office, the Fuller Center for Housing has agreed to administer $4 million to help with down payment assistance for mortgages on up to 100 homes. Fuller Center hopes to build 11 homes in Graves County and has indicated its willingness to expand to other counties.
“The Mayfield/Graves Fuller Center for Housing is committed to bringing back Mayfield, restoring families and providing affordable housing to assist those who have been severely impacted by the devastating tornadoes,” said Dave Wright, board chair of the Mayfield-Graves Fuller Center for Housing. “We are very appreciative of the support being provided from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund and look forward to a successful partnership.”
According to the governor’s office, Homes and Hope for Kentucky has agreed to administer $8 million to pay for materials to construct homes. Homes and Hope, partnering with Mennonite Disaster Services and Amish groups in the region to build and repair homes without labor costs, is expected to fund up to 100 homes. Homes and Hope for Kentucky currently has 15 houses under construction in Graves County.
Hopkins County Judge/Executive Jack Whitfield expressed his appreciation for the organizations, saying, “All the groups that have been helping or are going to help rebuild our communities have been amazing. It is so great to see our state government working with these groups to ensure that our communities not only rebuild, but prosper and grow.”
According to the governor’s office, impacted families should contact each nonprofit directly to determine which program will best meet their needs and to apply. The organizations will collaborate on the review and approval of applicants.
West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies Fund
Gov. Beshear presented more than $4.8 million from the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (SAFE) fund in Mayfield. The funding awards include more than $2.8 million for the City of Mayfield, and Mayfield Electric & Water Systems will receive more than $2 million. The funds will accommodate the 5.2% local share for FEMA-eligible expenses and help with the costs of recovery from the devastating December 2021 tornadoes.
“Our Western Kentucky communities need our help as they continue to rebuild following the tornadoes that took so much from them last December,” Gov. Beshearsaid. “These funds will help cover expenses and services that are not eligible for FEMA aid, and they will help ease some of the financial burdens that these communities have endured.”
“The City of Mayfield is so grateful to Gov. Beshear and our legislative representation, especially Rep. Richard Heath and Sen. Jason Howell, for their diligent efforts in working to procure SAFE funding and to begin the process of disbursement of those funds to the areas so horribly devastated by the December tornado,” said Mayor Kathy O’Nan. “We look forward to the recovery and rebuilding of our city, and this funding is a big step in that process.”
Gov. Beshear recommended the appropriation for the SAFE fund, and the 2022 General Assembly supported the aid by passing Senate Bill 150, which the Governor signed into law April 15.
Over the past two weeks, Gov. Beshear announced the first and second rounds of SAFE funding. The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management continues to receive additional applications, which officials are carefully reviewing to ensure the funds are used to their maximum benefit. KYEM anticipates additional funding will be made available to some of the same entities soon.
Graves County’s Hickory Industrial Park Receives $230,000
Gov. Beshear also announced $230,000 in upgrades at a site in Graves County’s Hickory Industrial Park, increasing the location’s appeal for companies considering new location or expansion projects.
“We remain committed to economic development initiatives throughout the region to support that recovery effort,” Gov. Beshear said. “Site development will be front and center as we explore every opportunity to bring new businesses to the commonwealth, in turn, creating quality job opportunities for all Kentuckians. This investment is great news for the Mayfield and Graves County community and will help position the region not only to bounce back strong, but to continue to grow well into the future.”
According to the governor’s office, the investment will include the construction of a 150,000-square-foot, pre-graded building pad on 16 acres in the Hickory Industrial Park. The site will include truck drive access and support up to 200 parking spaces on 4.7 acres adjacent to the building pad. The pad will reduce the time to market for prospective companies and expedite the construction process.
“With speed-to-market being a critical factor in today’s site location, we are enthusiastic to promote this property through the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and our tool through Graves County Economic Development business attraction marketing efforts,” said Jason Lemle, president of Graves County Economic Development. “We want to thank the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and the Kentucky Association for Economic Development for partnering with us on this project and look forward to future collaboration as we continue to rebuild the City of Mayfield and Graves County.”
Click here to read the full news release on the investment at Hickory Industrial Park.
“I am very proud of the strength and resilience shown by those who remain committed to rebuilding our homes and communities affected by these storms,” saidSen. Jason Howell, who represents Calloway, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon, Trigg counties. “We are fortunate to have strong and dedicated leadership in our local city and county officials as we continue down the long path of recovery.”
Rep. Richard Heath, who represents Graves County and part of McCracken County, said of today’s announcements: “While life here is far from back to normal, I’m extremely glad to see us continue to make strides towards not only restoring our region but building back stronger for the next generation. The investments announced today complement the work already being done on the local level and serve as a reminder that Kentuckians across the state have not forgotten the storms of December 2021, nor will their leaders fail to help Graves County rebuild.”