PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding Pike County Fiscal Court almost $1.9 million in a grant for water and sewer infrastructure. This will serve the new Wolf Pit Industrial Park, part of the region’s federal Opportunity Zone.
“Water and sewer expansions are still a critical part of job creation and strengthening our communities in southern and eastern Kentucky. This investment from EDA will fast-track the local vision for a new manufacturing business to set up operations in this new industrial park and create much-needed new jobs in the heart of coal country,” said Congressman Hal Rogers. “I applaud the Pike County Fiscal Court and Judge Executive Ray Jones for their proactive work to strengthen our Appalachian economy and provide more opportunities for our former coal miners.”
Once the project is completed, the Wolf Pit Industrial Park will be the center of an Appalachian-based manufacturing business serving numerous industry sectors, including biomedical equipment.
“To build a better Kentucky and sprint out of this pandemic, we need to make bold investments in every corner of the commonwealth,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “These federal dollars ensure that Eastern Kentucky will have the infrastructure needed to provide clean water to all families in the region. The funding also will foster job creation and economic growth through our continued investment in the manufacturing industry.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who reached out to EDA on Pike County’s behalf, stated, “Today’s announcement is great news for my constituents in Pike County. I am proud to have supported the county’s application to EDA for the Wolf Pit Industrial Site. This project will create new jobs and provide a boost to a region that experienced the loss of coal industry jobs. I’m hopeful that important projects like this one will not only help these former miners get back on their feet, but that they can also help diversify the region and encourage economic growth.”
Another goal of the project is to help with employment for out of work coal minors through a variety of programs and training to help bolster the regional healthcare industry. The completed project seeks to create and keep jobs, boost economic resiliency, and bring in private investment to an impacted area of the decline of the coal industry.
Pike County Judge Executive Ray Jones said, “Pike County, the largest county in Kentucky, presently does not have a county-owned industrial park. The development of this site gives us an opportunity to recruit new business and industry to our region, and to help diversify our economy in light of the decline in the coal industry throughout the region.”