FRANKFORT, KY (STL.News) Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced $4,755,270 in grants from the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to update infrastructure, expand broadband and health care access, improve economic development opportunities and more in communities across Western Kentucky.
The investments will fund 11 projects that will create or retain 80 jobs, provide workforce training for 433 Kentuckians and will improve the lives of 32,400 families.
“These 11 projects will make a great difference for infrastructure, economic development, health care and education, which are all priorities as we build a brighter, better Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful to the local leaders who made these projects possible and for DRA’s continued investment in Kentucky.”
Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner and Kentucky DRA Designee and Alternate Dennis Keene said DRA remains a crucial partner for the commonwealth.
“We appreciate the work of the DRA and their investment in Western Kentucky,” said Commissioner Keene. “Because of these projects, Western Kentucky families will have greater access to critical resources, which is very important as we look for ways to rebuild our economy and provide real opportunity for all Kentuckians.”
The DRA, which works to improve economic opportunity and create jobs in 252 counties and parishes in the eight-state Delta region, is investing in these key projects through the States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), which provides direct investment into community-based and regional projects to support basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce training and education, and small businesses development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and through the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF), which targets physical infrastructure projects that help build safer, more resilient communities in the Delta region.
Gov. Beshear serves on the DRA board as the governor of one of the member states. The DRA coordinates directly with the Governor’s Office, DLG and three local development districts in the commonwealth to implement funding for the program.
The Fulton County Industrial Development Authority will use $761,500 in DRA funds to make necessary improvements to the surface and transportation infrastructure in the Fulton County Industrial Park. This project will improve services for several businesses and approximately 1,800 families.
“We appreciate the assistance of the Department for Local Government and Delta Regional Authority on this Fulton Industrial Park Project,” said Fulton County Judge/Executive Jim Martin. “This happened because of a joint venture between the leadership of the counties to meet the business and economic development needs of our residents, who will benefit from traffic brought in by the merger of I-69 and the Canadian National Rail Light.”
“We’re very excited about this significant award, which will allow us to do much-needed site improvements and better serve our nearly 2,000 families,” said Fulton-Hickman Counties Economic Development Partnership President Mark Welch.
The Henderson County Fiscal Court will use $339,320 in DRA funds to upgrade three broadband communication stations, which will improve service and coverage for residents and businesses in the area.
“The Henderson County Fiscal Court has worked diligently over the last several years to improve internet connectivity for the rural citizens in our community,” said Henderson County Judge/Executive Brad Schneider. “This generous Delta Regional Authority grant will help us continue that effort to give our citizens as many choices as possible, no matter where they live. Many thanks to the Green River Area Development District for working with us to pursue this grant. Executive Director Joanna Shake and her team are second-to-none. We are all eager to see how this funding will help our county.”
The Hopkins County Fiscal Court will use $155,500 in DRA funds to add five broadband communication sites, which will improve service and coverage for residents and businesses in the area.
“This grant from the Kentucky Department for Local Government and the Delta Regional Authority, along with matching monies from the Hopkins County Fiscal Court, will help Hopkins County continue to move forward with our broadband expansion,” said Hopkins County Judge/Executive Jack Whitefield, Jr. “Recent events have proven that broadband access is no longer a luxury, but is an absolute necessity for our businesses, our homes and especially our children’s futures. Thank you, Gov. Beshear, DLG Commissioner Keene and the DRA for helping Hopkins County move forward.”
Logan and Todd counties
The Logan/Todd Regional Water Commission will use $711,000 in DRA funds to update its primary intake backup generator to improve services for 27,408 families.
“We worked hard together in Logan and Todd counties to serve our residents,” said Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick. “It’s great to get this pump generator that will supply fresh water to the great people of Logan and Todd counties.”
“The pump generator in Guthrie will be of great assistance and will help thousands of customers and over 100 industries,” said Logan/Todd Regional Water Commission Director of Marketing John Walton. “Thank you Gov. Beshear, Commissioner Keene and DRA for this opportunity to better serve Kentuckians.”
Trigg County Hospital Inc. will use $105,000 in DRA funds to create additional patient rooms and staff facilities in the hospital. Upon completion, the upgrades will improve health care in the region and will help the hospital retain five jobs.
“Trigg County is excited about the news of the hospital being awarded the DRA Grant funds to make the upgrades to our community hospital,” said Trigg County Judge/Executive Hollis Alexander. “It’s always good to get this kind of news but especially in these unprecedented times we are facing. This type of news just highlights the huge strides that our hospital has made in last few years. I would like to say thank you for all the hard work and thank you to everyone that helped make this a reality.”
“Trigg County Hospital (TCH) is pleased that it has been approved for a grant through the DRA, Department for Local Government and Pennyrile Area Development District for the purposes of improving our inpatient environment and the quality of our inpatient stays,” said Trigg County Hospital CEO John Sumner. “TCH has aggressively worked to improve the patient experience and expand services. TCH is grateful for the chance to take our hospital forward and improve the patient experience.”
The Webster County Fiscal Court will use $357,500 in DRA funds to purchase land to expand a training program for utility lineman, diesel mechanics and Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL). Upon completion, the program will provide workforce training for 223 Kentuckians.
“This is such welcomed news for Webster County. I appreciate DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene and his staff for their work in securing this grant from the Delta Regional Authority,” said Webster County Judge/Executive Steve Henry. “I also appreciate the Commissioner’s determination in finding ways to help fund projects for rural Kentucky. This project is a great collaboration between DLG, Madisonville Community College and the Henderson Community College in bringing postsecondary education to Webster County. Students graduating these programs will be able to step into careers that start around $50,000. Thanks as well goes to the Green River Area Development District, who continues to work hard for the seven county region.”
The Helping Hands Health Clinic Inc. will use $42,000 in DRA funds to purchase equipment for an additional general dentistry workstation at the Blount Rural Health Center, which will provide dental care to more Kentuckians in the region.
“We are grateful to have received this grant and look forward to providing additional services to our community,” said Anita Jo Powell, executive director of the Blount Rural Health Center.
“It’s wonderful to hear that this clinic has received funding to add to their dental program,” said Elkton Mayor Arthur Green. “They have been beneficial to many students and adults in our city and community who were unable to get dental assistance before.”
The City of Greenville will use $1,094,800 in DRA funds as part of the Powderly Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project, which will improve the plant and support future economic development in the area. This investment is projected to improve service for 2,646 families.
“We thank Department for Local Government and Delta Regional Authority for providing the funding for this project that will help grow economic development in our area,” said Greenville Mayor Jan Yonts.
The City of Henderson will use $509,000 in DRA funds to update the South Water Treatment Plant by replacing an outdated clearwell with a new, pressed concrete clearwell. This project will improve service for 614 families and the Tyson Foods plant.
“The Delta Regional Authority has historically been very helpful to Henderson and Henderson County in supporting capital projects that strengthen our infrastructure, and now they have stepped up once again to assist with the Henderson Water Utility’s clearwell project at our South Water Treatment Plant that serves not only Tyson Foods but outlying communities,” said Henderson Mayor Steve Austin. “We are grateful to have help from the DRA in the form of funding for this important project.”
The City of Madisonville will use $509,000 in DRA funds to construct a 22,000-square-foot hangar at the Madisonville Regional Airport, which will support Madisonville Community College’s aviation training program. This project will retain three jobs, create 30 new jobs and provide workforce training to 90 Kentuckians.
“We are thrilled about the tremendous opportunity of the Madisonville Airport Improvement Project,” said Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton. “We are thankful that we were chosen to be a part of such an impactful project for our community. This opportunity is projected to create 30 new jobs, retain three jobs and train 90 individuals. We consider it quite an honor and privilege to be selected for this program. We welcome any opportunity to add more jobs, training and resources in Madisonville.”
Sprocket Inc. will use $170,650 in DRA funds to provide software engineering training to expand the digital workforce and economy in Western Kentucky. Upon completion, this project will retain 21 jobs, create 21 new jobs and train 120 Kentuckians.