Nearly $10 million earmarked for community projects in eastern Kentucky

The funding is included in the U.S. House "Omnibus" spending bill

WASHINGTON, DC (WTVQ) – In the U.S. House-passed “Omnibus” spending bill for the remainder of 2022, Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, of Somerset, secured nearly $10 million in earmarks for community projects in southern and eastern Kentucky to prevent future flooding, enhance economic development, expand access to clean water, support first responders, and much more.

Ten community projects will be awarded funding across Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District in Clay, Lee, Leslie, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, Rowan and Pike counties.

Additional counties will be served by funding to prevent substance abuse in the region through Operation UNITE, and a septic system program through Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, according to Congressman Rogers’ office.

“I am thrilled to bring this good news to the people of southern and eastern Kentucky. Our rural communities desperately need federal support to help protect flood-ravaged cities, like Beattyville, and to help address the water crises in Martin and Leslie counties, among other needs,” said Congressman Rogers, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.

“It is no secret that I believe in the value of earmarks in rural America, as federal funding is often diverted to more populated urban areas. These important projects may have been stalled for many years without this money being set aside for our small communities. I applaud all of our local leaders who diligently worked on plans for these worthy projects, and I was honored to advocate for each one.”

Congressman Rogers included the following Community Project Funding Requests for Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District in the FY22 Omnibus Appropriations Package:

1. Beattyville Flood Wall Study – $450,000 will be awarded for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Louisville District to investigate solutions to prevent future devastating floods in Beattyville, Kentucky, in accordance with the goals of USACE Flood Risk Management Program. Downtown Beattyville suffered another historic damaging flood in March 2021.

2. City of Salyersville Restaurant Row Enhancement Project – $1.29 million will be used to create a gateway corridor along the newly expanded Mountain Parkway that includes wayfinding kiosks, gateway signage, landscaping improvements and visual information features. The enhancement project is part of the long-term recovery plan to rebuild Salyersville’s thriving restaurant district that was destroyed in the March 2012 tornado outbreak.

3. Downtown Manchester Market Place – $2.2 million will be awarded to the City of Manchester to construct a marketplace facility on city-owned land that provides the community and visitors with space to engage in activities centered around education, music, culture, and the arts.

4. Eastern Kentucky PRIDE Septic System Grant Program – $800,000 will be utilized by Eastern Kentucky PRIDE to implement a grant program to provide septic systems to households in Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District under the 55% Housing and Urban Development poverty guideline. Over the last 25 years, PRIDE has provided nearly 7,400 septic systems across southern and eastern Kentucky.

5. Hyden-Leslie Water District System Improvements – $1.39 million will be awarded to the Hyden-Leslie Water District to provide reliable, safe water for more than 100 distressed and poverty-stricken households.

6. Johnson County First Responder Communications Project – $859,000 will be utilized to upgrade the Johnson County public safety/first responder communications system to a high-performance digital network to improve response times, keeping the people of Johnson County safer.

7. Martin County Water Transmission Lines – $1.5 million will be awarded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District to repair failing water lines and to extend new water lines to more than 40 homes that are currently using contaminated well water. Congressman Rogers previously secured $4 million in federal funding to address the water crisis in Martin County.

8. Morehead Fire Department Station – $300,000 will be used to help build a new fire station in Morehead, Kentucky. The current fire station is a retrofitted 50-year-old carwash located at the busiest intersection in Morehead. The new modernized fire station will be relocated, contributing to faster response times.

9. Operation UNITE Substance Abuse Prevention – $500,000 was secured for Operation UNITE to enhance and expand opioid abuse prevention efforts within its service area through school-based UNITE Clubs and grassroots coalitions. Congressman Rogers launched Operation UNITE in 2003 to address the opioid epidemic in southern and eastern Kentucky through a holistic approach, including law enforcement, treatment and education. UNITE provides educational prevention programs to more than 50,000 students in Kentucky’s Appalachian region every year.

10. Pikeville Medical Center’s Appalachian Valley Autism (AVA) Center Sensory Stimulation Activity Area – Pikeville Medical Center will receive $665,202 to construct and equip a much-needed sensory stimulation area for the new AVA Center, aimed at helping children with autism. Congressman Rogers previously helped secure funding for construction of the AVA Center. Approximately 300 children are currently on the waiting list for treatment at the new facility.

The FY22 Omnibus Appropriations Package is expected to be passed by the U.S. Senate in the coming days.

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