Magoffin, Johnson counties receive millions for variety of projects

EASTERN KENTUCKY, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Gov. Andy Beshear presented more than $14 million to support the construction of new Local Area Vocational Education Centers (LAVECs) in Magoffin and Johnson counties.

“Now more than ever, Kentucky needs a multi-faceted and skilled workforce to support an economy that’s on fire,” said Gov. Beshear. “Career and technical education is an integral part of building that workforce and giving each of our students a bright future and strong foundation.”

“This is an education-first administration, and we want our students to have the tools and skills they need to secure good-paying jobs,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman.From biomedical sciences to digital cinema production, the students will have the resources they need to be competitive in the job market.”

Gov. Beshear presented $4,369,318 to the Magoffin Board of Education, to finance a new state-of the-art facility, which will be able to accommodate more students and career programs. In the project funding application, school officials say the current LAVEC building, which was built in the 1970s, is showing its age – with inadequate electrical wiring, outdated security systems and various space issues. The space in the new building will allow the school to add a carpentry program.

While in Magoffin County, Gov. Beshear presented $117,896 in discretionary funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to resurface 1.3 miles of Jake Risner Fork Road.

Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matthew C. Wireman said, “Gov. Beshear continues to prove he is an education-first governor who loves our youth and that he has a sincere desire to make life a little easier for all Kentuckians. This is evidenced by this allocation for a new technical center for our high school and additional funding to resurface another county road here in Magoffin.”

Later in the afternoon, Gov. Beshear presented $10 million to the Johnson County Board of Education to fund the construction of a new LAVEC, which will be connected to the new Johnson Central High School. Currently, the Career and Technical Education Center offers 27 training pathways and has almost 1,000 students enrolled.

While in Johnson County, Gov. Beshear also presented $139,744 to support flood control efforts.

The funded project consists of structural and non-structural elements, which include approximately 10,000 linear feet of floodwalls, levees, backwater closure control structure on Paints Creek, four road closures, local drainage facilities (including interceptor sewer) and a flood warning system to address emergency evacuation for the City of Paintsville and the entire county. The project also consists of a voluntary non-structural program focused on property acquisitions for structures located in floodplains.

Frequent over-bank flooding is a severe problem in Johnson County. Streams in the county undergo extreme flow fluctuations from both local and regional storm events. A recurrence of the 1977 flood event in the region would result in significant damage to over 4,770 structures in the Levisa Fork basin, estimated at approximately $384 million dollars, making today’s investment even more critical.

“Johnson County is excited and grateful to receive funds to cover the non-federal cost share for the Section 202 Johnson County Flood Risk Reduction Project,” said Johnson County Judge/Executive Mark McKenzie. “Receiving these funds reduces the financial burden the city and county were going to have to share in to make this critical project a reality for Paintsville and Johnson County. Not only will lives and property be impacted, but the end result of flood protection will bring economic opportunity.”

On Sept. 1, as part of his Better Kentucky Plan, Gov. Beshear awarded Kentucky school districts $75 million to upgrade Vocational Education Centers. The grants were approved by the Kentucky School Facilities Construction Commission Board. Applicants were scored on several criteria including the age of the current vocational education facility and financial need. To learn more, see the full release.

Through a bipartisan agreement with legislators, the Governor’s Better Kentucky Plan aims to create 14,500 jobs and will help Kentucky lead into the future. The plan allocates more than $750 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to build schools, expand access to broadband and deliver clean drinking water and quality sewer systems across the commonwealth.

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