Gov. Beshear awards more than $6.3 million to Bath County, Clark County

Gov. Beshear awarded $6,369,076 through the Cleaner Water Program.

OWINGSVILLE/WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ/PRESS RELEASE) – Friday, Gov. Andy Beshear awarded a total of $6,369,076 to two cities, one county and five water utilities in Bath and Clark counties for nine projects that will deliver clean drinking water and improve sewer and water infrastructure.

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.

“We are proud to work with each of these local leaders to build a better Kentucky for all of our families,” said Gov. Beshear, “These projects address the need for infrastructure improvements across our commonwealth and will bring safer, more reliable sanitary sewer services and clean, healthy drinking water to thousands of residents in this area.”

While in Bath County, Gov. Beshear also presented a ceremonial check for $210,000 to the Bath County Fiscal Court for road resurfacing on portions of Old State Road and Pine Grove Road.

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 Gateway Area Development District submitted funding requests for the Bath County projects to the KIA; the Bluegrass Area Development District submitted funding requests for Clark County. These include wastewater treatment plant improvements, replacement of aged waterlines and installation of new technology.

The City of Owingsville was awarded $76,513 to replace and upgrade aging water lines from the Bath County Water District meter to Owingsville Elementary School, and along Sudith, High and Main streets. The project will improve water quality, pressure and volume within the area, and provide new service to 90 underserved households.

“What a great day for Bath County to have the Governor stop by presenting checks for water and wastewater infrastructure as well as discretionary road funds,” said Bath County Judge/Executive Bobby Rogers,“These are much needed and greatly appreciated as they will be used on upcoming projects.”

“On behalf of all the citizens of the City of Owingsville, I wish to thank Gov. Beshear for this generous grant to assist our water and wastewater departments in making needed infrastructure improvements,” said Owingsville Mayor Gary M. Hunt, “funds are always well spent when they go towards improving the standard of living of our citizens.”

“The City of Sharpsburg is grateful to be receiving an award,” said Sharpsburg Mayor Dorothy Clemons.

The Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission was awarded $5 million to replace inadequate sewer line segments. This will increase capacity and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. The Strodes Creek wastewater treatment plant will be upgraded and will incorporate the Fort Estill pump station discharge. This will allow for development near interchange of Kentucky Route 627 and Interstate Highway 64. This project also will include stream restoration along Strodes Creek.

“We in Winchester/Clark County appreciate Gov. Beshear recognizing our need for local infrastructure projects,” saidClark County Judge/Executive Henry Branham, “this funding will help us greatly!”

“The City of Winchester very much appreciates Gov. Beshear’s visit to our community and the investments he brings with him that will enhance and improve both the infrastructure and quality of life for the City of Winchester and Clark County,” said Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner.

“I am pleased by the announcement of this project. Access to clean and reliable water is essential to the health and well-being of our communities; that includes economic health,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who represents Clark and Montgomery counties as well as part of Fayette County, “the legislature was and is committed to making needed investments in the state’s infrastructure. I am grateful for the allocation of funding making this particular investment possible. This is great news for Clark County.”

A full list of awarded projects can be found here.

About the Cleaner Water Program
A total of $37 million has been awarded to grantees to fund transformative projects since the call for projects was announced June 1. Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, collaborated with their local Area Development Districts (ADD) and Area Water Management Councils to submit projects for Cleaner Water Program funding. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.

Cleaner Water program funding is allocated in three ways:

  • $150 million based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act. A list of the allocations by county can be found here.
  • $50 million is available for utilities to provide drinking water services to unserved, rural customers or to utilities under a federal consent decree. The KIA shall consider social, economic and environmental benefits in determining the allocations.
  • $49.9 million is available to supplement a project grant for a project with a cost in excess of a county’s allocation amount and other available grant sources. The social, economic and environmental benefits shall be considered in determining project allocations. KIA will receive $75,000 to administer the grant program.

The application deadline was Nov. 19, 2021, however KIA will make awards continuously throughout the year. All grant awardees must obligate the funds by Dec. 31, 2024.

The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.

Information about the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at governor.ky.gov/BetterKy.

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