$2.1 million going to Pike County for water projects

Projects make an impact in rural communities

​​​​​​​PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)A total of $2,125,557 was awarded Thursday to the cities of Pikeville and Elkhorn City and to the Mountain Water District for three projects that will deliver clean drinking water and improve sewer and water infrastructure in Pike County.

The funding comes from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program. The program is estimated to create approximately 3,800 jobs across the state.

“As we emerge from this pandemic to a better Kentucky, we will continue to strengthen our water infrastructure in every corner of the commonwealth,” Gov. Andy beshear said in announcing the funding. “Today’s awards from the Cleaner Water Program will ensure the residents of Pike County have clean, safe drinking water and efficient wastewater systems. This will not only support the health and wellbeing of its citizens, but ensure the continued economic momentum of this region as well.”

While in Pike County, the Governor also presented a ceremonial check to the Pike County Fiscal Court, which was awarded $700,000 last month to install 3,000 feet of electric lines at the Wolfpit Industrial and Technology Park. On Nov. 15, Beshear and Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced $9.18 million in Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program funds for economic development projects in 10 Eastern Kentucky counties.

The City of Pikeville was awarded $451,480 to design and construct a carbon feeder, backwash system and high-service pump, all of which will upgrade the existing water treatment plant. Installation of this system should decrease disinfection byproducts in the water and significantly improve water quality.

“The City of Pikeville thanks Gov. Beshear for this grant. As the regional hub for Eastern Kentucky, water infrastructure is vital to our continued growth. This grant allows the city to expand our water plant capacity, which is critical to the recruitment of economic development opportunities and the expansion of our economy,” said Pikeville Mayor James A. Carter.

The City of Elkhorn City was awarded $57,403 to construct approximately 1,050 feet of new water line along West Main Street, to restore hydraulic capacity within the system and ensure a dependable water source for the system’s 600 existing customers.

The Mountain Water District was awarded $1,616,674 for the Brushy Creek-Sycamore water line extension project, which will install 54,000 feet of water line and provide a dependable drinking water supply to 125 new residential customers and one newly constructed mining facility.

“The Brushy Sycamore Water Line Extension is a highly anticipated project that will provide potable water service to approximately 125 residents who have never had access to public water service,” said Roy Sawyers, district manager of the Mountain Water District. “Now more than ever, access to clean, potable water service is of the highest priority for Kentuckians, and the Mountain Water District would like to sincerely thank Gov. Beshear for all he has done to aid in the provision of this essential service to unserved residents and citizens of Pike County.”

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 the funding requests for today’s projects to the KIA.

“Water is the essence of life,” said Sen. Phillip Wheeler, who represents five counties including Pike County. “As Senator for the 31st District, it has been one of my overarching goals to see that every resident has clean, safe drinking water for themselves and their families. While we still have much work to do, this investment represents an important step forward in fulfilling this commitment.  I want to thank members of the Beshear administration for their work with myself and the Pike County Fiscal Court on these important projects.”

“This funding is great news for our region and will really help improve access to safe and reliable drinking water,” said state Rep. Angie Hatton, who represents part of Pike County, along with Letcher County. “I want to thank Gov. Beshear and my legislative colleagues for their work in making critical infrastructure announcements like this possible, because it means a lot as we work together to make Eastern Kentucky an even better place to live.”

“I want to thank Gov. Beshear for traveling to our community to announce this much-needed funding for our region,” said Rep. Ashley Tackett Laferty, whose 95th House District includes Pike County. “I’m proud to support this effort, because it helps make sure more of our homes, businesses and schools have the clean and reliable drinking water they absolutely need and deserve.”

“Federal relief funding can be considered a silver lining from the COVID-19 pandemic. This money that was granted to our state has many potential uses, but there are none better than using this funding to better the lives of those who are forced to deal with failing infrastructure on a daily basis,” said Rep. John Blanton, who represents Knott and Magoffin counties and a portion of Pike County. “I appreciate the opportunity to share this exciting news with the people of my district, and I look forward to see the infrastructural updates that will happen as a result of our efforts.”

“It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a trying time for Kentuckians as well as citizens around the globe. One of the silver linings, however, would be the federal relief funding that the legislature has fought to attain,” said State Representative Norma Kirk-McCormick, who represents Martin County as well as a portion of Pike County. “This money could have been spent on a variety of things, but my colleagues and I believe it is time that we begin reinvesting in our communities by granting funds for infrastructure updates that will create growth and change that will be recognized for generations. I look forward to seeing the projects that will happen as a result of this funding, and I am appreciative of the opportunity to share this news with you today.”