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Ground broken on kitchen and senior citizen center in Eastern Kentucky

Will serve Menifee, Bath, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan counties

FRENCHBURG, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2015) — Officials broke ground today on a new kitchen and senior citizen center that will serve Menifee, Bath, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan counties.

The Menifee County Regional Kitchen and Senior Citizen Center will combine and replace outdated facilities that lack adequate space and reliable equipment. The new center will feature more than 5,000-s.f. and house a dining and recreation area, activity rooms, a kitchen and a mechanical room.

The $1.42 million project was funded through a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a more than $589,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant and $140,000 in Multi-County Coal Severance funding, as well as $60,000 in local donations and $134,000 in local loans.

“Projects like this are critical to allowing our citizens to maintain their independence, and improve their quality of life,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “This center will provide a much-needed, safe facility in the community for seniors and all residents to access educational, recreational and health services.”

The community’s current regional kitchen prepares more than 52,000 meals annually for seniors and at-home clients in an unsafe and inadequate facility. The nearly 90-year-old facility has uneven floors, crumbling walls with gaping holes, insufficient ventilation and inoperable sewage drains that force workers and patrons to seek restroom facilities at an alternative location. Food storage and preparation space is also limited. The building uses household size refrigerators from the 1970’s for food storage when commercial grade refrigeration storage is needed.

The current senior citizen center is located in a small, 600-s.f. room in the Beaver Creek Housing project, and parking is scarce, forcing seniors to park far distances from the building.

The new project combines the regional kitchen and senior center in one facility, allowing both to operate in a larger, modern space and share utility costs. In addition, the site will allow new services to be offered, such as health and wellness programs, GED and computer classes, and other programs to serve seniors in the region.

“This project creatively combines several funding sources to construct a two-in-one facility that will both effectively serve as a regional kitchen and senior citizens center,” said Tony Wilder, commissioner of the Department for Local Government. “Menifee and the surrounding counties will now have a quality community facility that will serve both seniors and all residents for many future generations.”

The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.

ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in an effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that range from education and job training to housing and business expansion to transportation and infrastructure development.

Multi-County LGEDF/Coal Severance Funds are a portion of coal severance taxes set aside to fund projects benefiting two or more coal-producing counties.