Beshear announces plan for rebuilding in Eastern Ky., starting with ‘Olive Branch’ community

HINDMAN, Ky. (WTVQ) — Gov. Andy Beshear was in Hindman Tuesday to announce plans for rebuilding efforts in Eastern Kentucky following devastating and deadly July flooding.

Beshear said the initial building site is located in Talcum, in Knott County near the Perry County line, and will be named the Olive Branch Community. The state secured 75 acres and can expand that to 300 acres, for a place to rebuild and “grow for the future and attract new businesses.” It’s the first of multiple sites being considered for rebuilding projects, some of which are located in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher and Perry counties.

Initial concepts for Knott County include small, medium and large home lots, senior apartments, park and recreation space and an elementary school all surrounded by wooded areas. The plan is also to provide the infrastructure in a way that benefits the entire region, including relief and assistance to the City of Hazard and Perry County.

Beshear said infrastructure projects will have multiple funding sources, including Eastern Kentucky SAFE funds, state transportation funds and Federal ARPA funds. Work is expected to begin in early 2023 and will include an improved water treatment facility, roads and utilities to the area.

“This is a model we are seeing work well in Western Kentucky. We’re on track to build hundreds of homes in the West. After a disaster, a new home provides stability, security and hope for a prosperous future. That’s what we plan to build in Eastern Kentucky, too,” said Beshear.

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