Home » $2.2 million for infrastructure, community development for Letcher County

$2.2 million for infrastructure, community development for Letcher County

WHITESBURG, Ky. — $2,254,640 was awarded for infrastructure and community development projects in Letcher County.

The governor announced $791,556 for two cities and one water utility 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 ceremonial checks for $463,084 in transportation funding to resurface three roads: Carcassone Road, Kingdom Come Creek Road, and Boggs Hollow Road.

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

The Kentucky River Area Development District submitted the funding requests for all Cleaner Water Program projects to the KIA. The funding awards include the following projects.

Letcher County Water & Sewer DistrictThis Letcher County Water & Sewer District will receive $696,570 to establish a water line connection with the city of Cumberland and construct distribution lines along KY-119. Residents of Collier’s Creek and Lewis Branch will be served as part of this project. A 100,000-gallon storage tank and a 250-gpm pump station will also be constructed. Through this project, 200 households in Letcher County will receive a reliable source of potable water for the first time.

City of JenkinsThe Jenkins wastewater plant will receive $79,155 to repair locations with concentrations of heavy inflow and infiltration and to develop a study to address future needs of the system.

City of Fleming-NeonThe city will receive $15,831 to improve the performance at the wastewater treatment plant and reduce sewer flows during heavy rain events. The project will include flow monitoring at up to five locations, manhole inspections, smoke tests, repair of manhole castings, and the development of a working map of the sewer system suitable for a flow study and for use during construction.

About the Cleaner Water ProgramA total of $59 million has been awarded to grantees to fund transformative projects since the call for projects was announced on 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 (ADD) 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.

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