Projects in western, northern regions earn 2013 Spirit of Kentucky Awards

Projects in western, northern regions earn 2013 Spirit of Kentucky Awards

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 15, 2013) – Gov. Steve Beshear and Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder on Thursday presented the 2013 Spirit of Kentucky Awards to the Tri-County Recycling Alliance Expansion Project and the South Airfield Transportation Project.  The awards were presented as a part of the 38th Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference, held in Louisville.

“Both project awardees used creative, collaborative and cost-effective thinking to plan and implement these highly successful projects,” said Beshear.  “I commend the many federal, state and local officials who worked together to bring these projects to fruition and make long-lasting, positive impacts in their communities. Congratulations to all the partners involved in the Tri-County Recycling Center project and South Airfield Road Transportation project for their well-deserved efforts and I wish them continued success in both projects.”

“For the first time in history, DLG selected two projects to receive the Spirit of Kentucky Award,” said Commissioner Wilder.  “This points to the incredible, cooperative achievements our award recipients undertook with the planning and completion of their respective projects. The Tri-County Recycling Center project and the South Airfield Road Transportation project both have been embraced by their communities because of the outstanding impact they have on increasing residents’ quality of life. They offer a range of benefits from improving economic development to enhancing public safety to decreasing negative environmental impacts, and both are well-deserving of this distinguished honor.”

Tri-County Recycling Alliance Project

The Tri-County Recycling Alliance (TRCA) is a regional partnership between Henderson, Union and Webster counties, as well as the city of Henderson. The group utilized $1.4 million in federal, state and local funds for a project to construct a state-of-the art processing center for their region.

Completed in 2013, the new 18,000-s.f. recycling facility can sort and package more than one million tons of recycled materials per year. With the addition of the new plant, partner governments will now drastically reduce unnecessary landfill usage, resulting in taxpayer savings. The plant will also have the capacity to earn money by selling packaged recycled goods on the open market. Thanks to the new plant, the TCRA marketed collectible recycling has increased by 300 percent over the past year.

Serving a population of more than 74,000, the project has received vast community support from residents, businesses, public agencies and school systems. The center has helped create a sense of civic pride and renewed dedication to the issue of recycling. Dozens of local companies and schools host portable drop-off points, making recycling convenient and easy. And TCRA utilizes AmeriCorps program volunteers to promote public awareness and education.

The complete list of partners involved in the project include Henderson County, Union County, Webster County, the cities of  Henderson, Morganfield, Corydon, Robards, Sturgis, Uniontown, Waverly, Providence, Sebree, Clay, Dixon, Slaughters and Wheatcroft.

Combined funding sources for the project included a $800,000 Multi-County Coal Severance grant, $265,000 from Henderson County, $200,000 from the city of Henderson, a $100,00 Delta Regional Authority grant and a $33,485 Division of Waste Management KY Pride Grant.

South Airfield Road Transportation Project

The South Airfield Road Project was recently completed after 10 years of planning, design and construction. The project involved a highly collaborative process between several public and private organizations and used a variety of funding sources to reach completion.

The road project improved overall transportation movement in the central portion of Boone County.  It enhanced access adjacent to the CVG airport and hundreds of acres of undeveloped property and provided connectivity from the Houston Road retail corridor to the city of Florence.  Further, it helped relieve traffic congestion along KY 18 in the Florence/I-75 area, which the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) identified as one most highly congested corridor in the state.

Thanks in part to the project, the city of Florence and Boone County have had increased economic development activity and the effort has been incredibly well-received by the public with significant unsolicited feedback on travel times along the corridor.

The many agencies involved in the project include the Boone County Fiscal Court, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, KYTC, CVG Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration, the city of Florence and the Tri-County Economic Development Agency.

While the project pooled several funding sources, it notably did not utilize any state transportation funds and it avoided issuing debt which in turn saved taxpayer dollars.

Funding sources for this project included $11.7 million in federal SNK funds, $2.8 million in county funds, $2.5 million in CVG airport funds, $2 million in federal congressional earmark funds and $1.2 million in private/corporate investment funds.

Spirit of Kentucky Award

The Spirit of Kentucky Award is given annually to sponsors of a public project that demonstrate cost effective coordination of government resources among multiple government groups.

Nominations for the Spirit of Kentucky Award were submitted to DLG for consideration.  Projects eligible for nomination include those of government, public service, private non-profit or quasi-governmental groups or agencies.