FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2012) – Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday announced $1.5 million in funding for two new projects in Muhlenberg County – the Powderly Scattered Site Housing Rehabilitation Project and the Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center for adults with mental, physical or emotional challenges.
The Powderly Scattered Site Housing Rehabilitation Project is receiving $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) to address the dilapidated housing stock scattered throughout the city of Powderly in Muhlenberg County. Twelve homes within the area will be demolished and cleared for reconstruction and seven dilapidated mobile home units will be cleared and disposed of at an approved landfill location.
Each of the newly rehabbed and constructed homes will be built in accordance with the Kentucky Housing Corporation’s Universal Design Standards and will incorporate Energy Star Rated appliances when applicable. All of the new housing will go to Low-to-Middle Income (LMI) families.
“Safe, quality housing is an important element to enhancing the value of any community,” said Gov. Beshear. “This project will not only improve the aesthetics of Powderly, but will also provide several families in the area with the dependable, accessible homes that they need.”
A $500,000 CDBG Grant will help construct a new facility to house the Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center. The Opportunity Center is a private, nonprofit organization established more than 40 years ago to assist adults who experience mental, physical or emotional challenges in their daily lives. The center helps prepare individuals for work in a competitive work environment. If an individual is unable to find competitive employment, the Opportunity Center provides them with long-term employment. The center has small parts assembly contracts with various local manufacturing firms that include Hunter Douglas in Owensboro and Pop Tec and Pop Fasteners in Hopkinsville.
“Facilities such as the Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center provide quality assistance to Kentuckians who are actively seeking employment and need additional resources to help them be competitive in our modern workforce,” Beshear said. “Having a job not only gives individuals the empowerment they need to succeed, but it also helps Kentucky in our effort to raise overall employment and get our citizens back to work.”
The CDBG funding will assist in the construction of a new 9,700-square-foot, pre-engineered building that will house the new center. The new building will be constructed adjacent to the existing building on property that is owned by the Muhlenberg County Fiscal Court. The new facility will be one level and completely ADA compliant. The Opportunity Center is committed to adding a minimum of 25 new jobs within the next two years, of which at least 51 percent will be for LMI persons.
“I am glad that I was able to help obtain funding for the next phase of construction for the Muhlenberg Opportunity Center,” said Sen. Jerry Rhoads of Madisonville. “This facility provides a great service to the area by preparing adults with disabilities to enter the workforce in real jobs. This type of vocational rehabilitation is very much needed on many levels. I am pleased to see this project moving forward.”
“I’m grateful to Gov. Beshear for making these grants available for communities, so our hometowns can put projects in motion that will benefit our citizens,” said Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville. “One grant for Scattered Housing in Muhlenberg County will replace homes not capable of being occupied. Another grant will provide funding for the construction of a new building for the Muhlenberg County Opportunity Center, which provides training and work for many of our vulnerable citizens.”
The state’s CDBG program is administered by the Department for Local Government and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ ongoing support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.