Kentucky Governor Awards $4 Million to Hardin County

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (STL.News)  Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $4,075,048 to Hardin County to deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program.  The program is estimated to create approximately 3,800 jobs across the state.

The Governor also presented a ceremonial check for $585,494 to Hardin County, representing Kentucky Transportation Cabinet funds to resurface portions of Sportsman Lake Road.

“These basic yet essential investments support the growing, thriving communities of Hardin County,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are proud to be a part of a team effort with Elizabethtown, Vine Grove, West Point and local utilities, which are working together to improve this area’s infrastructure and support each other as we build a better Kentucky.”

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million was appropriated through a bipartisan agreement at the close of the 2021 General Assembly for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.

“We are excited to welcome Gov. Beshear back to Hardin County to present many well deserved grants aimed at greatly improving key infrastructure projects throughout the county,” said Hardin County Judge/Executive Harry Berry. “Adequate water and sewer service is not only important for the residents of our county, it is also paramount to our ability to attract excellent economic development opportunities to our region.  The grants the Governor is awarding in Hardin County will greatly enhance our ability to better serve our citizens and to provide good paying jobs throughout the county.  We appreciate the extraordinary efforts by Gov. Beshear to foster terrific economic development projects across this region.”

The Lincoln Trail Area Development District submitted the projects to the KIA for funding. Projects range from sewer line upgrades to treatment plant equipment to water storage tank repairs.

One such project includes a $117,900 investment in the City of Vine Grove to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant to support the city’s growing residential population.  Improvements will include the installation of a second oxidation ditch, which will allow the plant to continue operations during repairs or routine maintenance, and the installation of a generator to prevent issues in the event of power loss.  The city will also examine the use of UV light to further improve the disinfection processing.

Hardin County Water District #2 will receive $1.7 million to construct a 750,000-gallon water tank in the Mulberry corridor to replace two aging tanks.  The new tank will provide additional storage, better regulate water flow, and improve water pressure to the citizens of Elizabethtown.

A complete list of funded projects can be found here.

“I am thrilled to see funding for clean water initiatives being put toward projects in Hardin County,” said Sen. Dennis Parrett, whose district includes Hardin County.  “It is great to see efforts like these coming to our district because having properly maintained infrastructure and clean water is essential to the health and safety of our communities.”

“The funding announced today to improve the infrastructure of drinking systems and wastewater systems will help improve the lives of everyone across Hardin County,” said Rep. Jim DuPlessis, who represents part of Hardin County. “Safe water is something every person should have access to and this is exactly what this program will do.  I am proud to have been part of a legislature that voted to include ARPA funds in SB 36 to fund programs just like this one.”

“Strengthening Kentucky’s infrastructure through the Cleaner Water Program will help improve the lives of the people living in Hardin County,” said Rep. Russell Webber, whose district includes part of Hardin County.  “Last year, the legislature voted to include ARPA funding into SB 36 for projects just like this one.  It is humbling to see that the money is going to ensure that every Kentuckian has access to safe and clean drinking water.  While the money from the federal government came to us during a time of uncertainty, we are now certain that this project, funded by ARPA money, will help ease the minds of those living in Hardin County.”

“The Cleaner Water Program is going to help those in Hardin County live a better life,” said Rep. Samara Heavrin, whose district includes part of Hardin County.  “With the improvements to the water systems, we are guaranteed the citizens across this county and the commonwealth have access to clean water.  Last year the legislature made the decision to allocate the relief funds into SB 36, and the improvements on Kentucky’s critical infrastructure are exactly what we had in mind when doing so.  I am proud to be part of a legislature that supports improving the lives of those across the commonwealth with crucial programs like the Cleaner Water Program.”

“The Cleaner Water Program is extremely important because it will improve necessary infrastructure that has not been properly funded in many years,” said Rep. Nancy Tate, whose district includes part of Hardin County.  “It is time the people of Hardin County and those across the commonwealth have access to safe water.  I am proud to be part of a legislature that allocated the funds in last year’s SB 36 to programs like this one.”

“This program is a direct result of the legislature’s decision of budgeted funds from the American Rescue Plan Act sent to us from the federal government,” said Rep. Josh Calloway, whose district includes part of Hardin County.  “When deciding to allocate this money, the Cleaner Water Program was the exact type of program we had in mind.  Clean water and safe wastewater treatment plants are essential in ensuring that those living in Hardin County will not have to worry about crucial infrastructure located in their homes.”

About the Cleaner Water Program

More than $106 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 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.