KENTUCKY. (WFIE) - Hopkins County Judge Executive Jack Whitfield and Greenville Mayor Jan Yonts were in Frankfort Monday for a grant announcement by Gov. Beshear.
Gov. Beshear announced $4,755,270 in grants from the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to update infrastructure, expand broadband and health care access, improve economic development opportunities and more in communities across Western Kentucky.
The investments will fund 11 projects that will create or retain 80 jobs, provide workforce training for 433 Kentuckians and will improve the lives of 32,400 families.
“These 11 projects will make a great difference for infrastructure, economic development, health care and education, which are all priorities as we build a brighter, better Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful to the local leaders who made these projects possible and for DRA’s continued investment in Kentucky.”.”
The DRA, which works to improve economic opportunity and create jobs in 252 counties and parishes in the eight-state Delta region, is investing in these key projects through the States' Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), which provides direct investment into community-based and regional projects to support basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce training and education, and small businesses development with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and through the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF), which targets physical infrastructure projects that help build safer, more resilient communities in the Delta region.
The Henderson County Fiscal Court will use $339,320 in DRA funds to upgrade three broadband communication stations, which will improve service and coverage for residents and businesses in the area.
“The Henderson County Fiscal Court has worked diligently over the last several years to improve internet connectivity for the rural citizens in our community,” said Henderson County Judge/Executive Brad Schneider. “This generous Delta Regional Authority grant will help us continue that effort to give our citizens as many choices as possible, no matter where they live. Many thanks to the Green River Area Development District for working with us to pursue this grant. Executive Director Joanna Shake and her team are second-to-none. We are all eager to see how this funding will help our county.”
The City of Henderson will use $509,000 in DRA funds to update the South Water Treatment Plant by replacing an outdated clearwell with a new, pressed concrete clearwell. This project will improve service for 614 families and the Tyson Foods plant.
“The Delta Regional Authority has historically been very helpful to Henderson and Henderson County in supporting capital projects that strengthen our infrastructure, and now they have stepped up once again to assist with the Henderson Water Utility’s clearwell project at our South Water Treatment Plant that serves not only Tyson Foods but outlying communities,” said Henderson Mayor Steve Austin. “We are grateful to have help from the DRA in the form of funding for this important project.”
Mayor Austin told 14 News Monday the project could also help with future development in Henderson County.
“If we have an industry at the 4 Star Park that comes in, then we would have to gear up to supply water to an industry like that that comes in, so its an economic development tool as well,” said Mayor Austin.
The Hopkins County Fiscal Court will use $155,500 in DRA funds to add five broadband communication sites, which will improve service and coverage for residents and businesses in the area.
“This grant from the Kentucky Department for Local Government and the Delta Regional Authority, along with matching monies from the Hopkins County Fiscal Court, will help Hopkins County continue to move forward with our broadband expansion,” said Hopkins County Judge/Executive Jack Whitefield, Jr. “Recent events have proven that broadband access is no longer a luxury, but is an absolute necessity for our businesses, our homes and especially our children’s futures. Thank you, Gov. Beshear, DLG Commissioner Keene and the DRA for helping Hopkins County move forward.”
The City of Madisonville will use $509,000 in DRA funds to construct a 22,000-square-foot hangar at the Madisonville Regional Airport, which will support Madisonville Community College’s aviation training program. This project will retain three jobs, create 30 new jobs and provide workforce training to 90 Kentuckians.
“We are thrilled about the tremendous opportunity of the Madisonville Airport Improvement Project,” said Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton. “We are thankful that we were chosen to be a part of such an impactful project for our community. This opportunity is projected to create 30 new jobs, retain three jobs and train 90 individuals. We consider it quite an honor and privilege to be selected for this program. We welcome any opportunity to add more jobs, training and resources in Madisonville.”
The Webster County Fiscal Court will use $357,500 in DRA funds to purchase land to expand a training program for utility lineman, diesel mechanics and Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL). Upon completion, the program will provide workforce training for 223 Kentuckians.
“This is such welcomed news for Webster County. I appreciate DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene and his staff for their work in securing this grant from the Delta Regional Authority,” said Webster County Judge/Executive Steve Henry. “I also appreciate the Commissioner’s determination in finding ways to help fund projects for rural Kentucky. This project is a great collaboration between DLG, Madisonville Community College and the Henderson Community College in bringing postsecondary education to Webster County. Students graduating these programs will be able to step into careers that start around $50,000. Thanks as well goes to the Green River Area Development District, who continues to work hard for the seven county region.”
The City of Greenville will use $1,094,800 in DRA funds as part of the Powderly Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project, which will improve the plant and support future economic development in the area. This investment is projected to improve service for 2,646 families.
“We thank Department for Local Government and Delta Regional Authority for providing the funding for this project that will help grow economic development in our area,” said Greenville Mayor Jan Yonts.