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Powell County to get sewer upgrade, expansion

Project will eliminate current environmental concerns, allow for new economic development

STANTON, Ky. (June 15, 2012) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined Congressman Ben Chandler and other state and local officials to announce a comprehensive upgrade to the wastewater treatment plants in the cities of Stanton and Clay City in Powell County. The project will combine the two existing Stanton and Clay City plants into one expanded plant in Stanton.

The Kentucky Department for Local Government (DLG) has committed nearly $3.75 million in combined funding sources to help support this new project. Overall, more than $13 million in combined state and federal funding sources will be utilized to complete the wastewater treatment plants’ expansion and upgrades.

“The increased wastewater capacity this project provides will not only alleviate environmental and public health concerns, it will also provide the opportunity for local leaders to help encourage new and expanded business creation in Powell County,” Beshear said. “Thanks to the many local, state and federal leaders who have cooperated and developed a creative funding plan to help bring this much needed project to fruition.”

Both the cities of Stanton and Clay City have existing treatment plants that are operating under enforcement actions from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet for wastewater flows that exceed the rated treatment capacity of both wastewater treatment plants.  The enforcement actions have made it nearly impossible for local leadership to bring new employers into the county, as the existing sewer infrastructure will not support growth or additional sewage flow.

This project will expand Stanton’s plant, decommission Clay City’s operation and combine both into the expanded plant, rather than continue to operate two treatment plants. This will eliminate the Cabinet’s enforcement actions and allow for potential economic growth in the area.

“Not only will the Red River Wastewater Authority create a more sustainable and healthier community, it will also lead to increased economic growth in Central Kentucky,” Chandler said. “I look forward to seeing that all residents of Powell County have a reliable source of water, and that this community continues to grow.”

More specifically, the funding will go toward the expansion and upgrade of the existing Stanton wastewater treatment plant, the installation of a new pump station in Clay City, the installation of a force main to handle pumping sewage from Clay City to Stanton, and the construction of a an administrative laboratory and electrical building at the Stanton plant site. Both cities will continue to own and operate their respective sewage collection systems.

The DLG-administered funding sources include a $2 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), $1.14 million in CDBG disaster recovery funds, a $600,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant and $500,000 from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA).

“The cities of Stanton and Clay City have been in need of a solution to their wastewater treatment issues for many years – the wastewater problems have certainly hindered economic development in the area,” said DLG Commissioner Tony Wilder. “I am pleased that so many agencies have joined together to find a positive and effective solution for the cities’ needs and I thank everyone who has been involved in this significant project.”

Additional funding includes a $4.9 million U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loan, $2.5 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and a $1.42 million USDA Rural Development Grant.

“Rural Development’s support for infrastructure projects reflects our commitment to ensuring rural communities can create jobs, attract businesses and provide essential services to their residents,” said Tom Fern, state director of USDA Rural Development. “The local, state and federal officials representing this area have worked together in concert to make this project a reality, ensuring that these communities can provide adequate wastewater service to residents and businesses while also planning for future needs and enhancing opportunities for economic development.”

“On behalf of the Red River Regional Wastewater Authority we are so appreciative of all funding agencies involved and especially to Gov. Beshear and his staff for supporting this much needed project from day one,” said John Brewer, chair of the Red River Wastewater Authority.  “This truly is a great day for Powell County and we are again open for business! This wastewater system allows us to again be competitive in attracting industry and new business to our area. We are hopeful that we now will be able to provide a much better future for our children and grandchildren by allowing them to live and work in their home county.”