Farmers Market, roads, water: Letcher County gets $2.2 million

Funding will benefit several different areas

WHITESBURG, Ky. (WTVQ)Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $2,254,640 Friday for infrastructure and community development projects in Letcher County.

He announced $791,556 for two cities and one water utility to deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program.

“Access to clean, affordable drinking water and reliable wastewater systems are basic rights of every citizen,” said Beshear. “Building a better Kentucky means working together to find ways to improve our infrastructure where it’s needed most. This funding goes a long way toward providing the basic necessities our families need right now.”

Beshear presented a ceremonial check for $1 million to the Cowan Community Action Group, which will be used to help construct the Whitesburg Farmers Market Pavilion. It will also expand and equip the Cowan Grows Micro-Processing Kitchen. Gov. Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers first announced this award in November.

“Cowan Community Action Group Director Valerie Horn explained that, whether farmers need good WiFi service to post social media stories, or they need a demonstration kitchen, or access to water, power, refrigerated storage or restrooms, the Whitesburg Farmers Market will be equipped and ready to help them make sales,” said  Beshear.

The Governor also presented ceremonial checks for $463,084 in transportation funding to resurface three roads: Carcassone Road, Kingdom Come Creek Road and Boggs Hollow Road.

“These projects will help protect Kentucky families and also help our communities continue the incredible economic growth we’ve been seeing,” said Gov. Beshear.

“I’m happy for the bipartisan efforts that led to the General Assembly passing bills to put millions of dollars toward improving water systems in Kentucky,” said Sen. Johnnie Turner, whose district includes Letcher County. “People have struggled to have reliable drinking water for too long. I am also grateful for the investment in economic projects in this region. I look forward to these helping our people have better, more healthy, and prosperous lives.”

“This twin infrastructure announcement is definitely welcome news for our community, especially those businesses, organizations and families that will directly benefit,” said Rep. Angie Hatton, whose district includes Letcher County. “I want to thank Gov. Beshear for bringing this funding personally, and I’ve been proud to work with him and my colleagues in the General Assembly to make critical projects like this possible, because infrastructure improvements are truly bipartisan. What makes these projects even better is that they represent the closer working relationship we are seeing here locally. That cooperative spirit symbolizes both who we are and what we must have to succeed in the years ahead.”

“It’s a great day for Letcher County! The announcements today will greatly help advance our county and better the lives of our citizens, from better access to clean water to safer roads, and one of the best Farmers Markets in the region,” said Letcher County Judge/Executive Terry Adams. “The Cowan Community Action group is always working to bring great resources to our county and we are all blessed to have them and all their hard work. Thank you to everyone involved with these projects, from writing them to awarding them.”

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 bi-partisan agreement for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.

The Kentucky River Area Development District submitted the funding requests for all Cleaner Water Program projects to the KIA. The funding awards include the following projects.

Letcher County Water & Sewer District
This Letcher County Water & Sewer District will receive $696,570 to establish a water line connection with the city of Cumberland and construct distribution lines along KY-119. Residents of Collier’s Creek and Lewis Branch will be served as part of this project. A 100,000-gallon storage tank and a 250-gpm pump station will also be constructed. Through this project, 200 households in Letcher County will receive a reliable source of potable water for the first time.

City of Jenkins
The Jenkins wastewater plant will receive $79,155 to repair locations with concentrations of heavy inflow and infiltration, and to develop a study to address future needs of the system.

City of Fleming-Neon
The city will receive $15,831 to improve the performance at the wastewater treatment plant and reduce sewer flows during heavy rain events. The project will include flow monitoring at up to five locations, manhole inspections, smoke tests, repair of manhole castings, and the development of a working map of the sewer system suitable for a flow study and for use during construction.

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