Rural Development invests over $600,000 to help rural Kentucky communities

Source: USDA

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky recently invested $607,760 in rural communities across central and eastern Kentucky.

According to the USDA, these 14 projects, obligated in December 2020, span seven counties and are meant to help communities provide essential services to their citizens.

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“Projects like these are just another way Rural Development helps rural Kentucky thrive,” said Acting State Director Traci Vaught. “Rural Development has a long history of being a strong partner helping businesses and communities across the commonwealth.”

The city of Jackson will use a $50,000 grant to purchase two vehicles for the city’s police department, as well as a $22,900 grant to purchase an all-terrain vehicle for the fire department to help rescue and transport patients in difficult terrain.

Breathitt County Water District will use a $49,300 grant to purchase two trucks to help with preventative and emergency maintenance of the water system.

The Breathitt County Fiscal Court will use a $50,000 grant to purchase a new tractor and mower to help maintain county roads.

The Elliott County Fiscal Court will use a $50,000 grant to purchase two vehicles for the sheriff’s department.

The city of Beattyville will use a $35,100 grant to purchase equipment needed to refill the fire department’s self-contained breathing apparatus air tanks, as well as a $42,900 grant to purchase an excavator and trailer for the city’s water department.

The city of Paintsville will use a $22,750 grant to purchase an excavator to help both the city and county maintain public utilities.

The Lee County Fiscal Court will use a $50,000 grant to purchase power cots and heart monitors for the Lee County Ambulance Service.

The city of Booneville will use a $36,370 grant to purchase mini-excavator for the city water department to use for emergency all-weather situations and for preventative maintenance and to eliminate the cost of rental equipment. A $48,440 grant will also be used to purchase a 4×4 vehicle for the city’s water department for emergency all-weather situations and preventative maintenance and emergency response.

The city of Campton will use a $50,000 grant to purchase a utility vehicle, trailer, air compressor, and equipment for the city’s maintenance department. The vehicle and equipment will be used by the department to respond to preventative and emergency calls, repair water lines, provide secure storage, and transport workers and equipment to work sites.

The Wolfe County Fiscal Court will use a $50,000 grant to help purchase three pickup trucks for the Wolfe County Sanitation Department to help the department provide sanitation and solid waste disposal services. A $50,000 grant will also be used to purchase a new dump truck for the Wolfe County Road Department to help the department respond to emergency situations regardless of the weather, and it will be used for preventative and emergency road maintenance.

According to the USDA, funding for these grants was made through disaster aid first announced in September 2019, and grant applications will continue to be accepted at USDA state offices on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register.

Eligible Kentucky counties include Adair, Ballard, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Carter, Casey, Clay, Crittenden, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Graves, Greenup, Hancock, Hardin, Harlan, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Kenton, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Livingston, Madison, Magoffin, Marion, Marshall, Martin, McCracken, McCreary, McLean, Metcalfe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Owen, Owsley, Pendleton, Perry, Pike, Powell, Rockcastle, Russell, Spencer, Trigg, Trimble, Union, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Whitley, and Wolfe.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, click HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!