Gov. Beshear: Appalachian Communities Can Now Apply for Community, Economic Development Grants

FRANKFORT, KY. (Jan. 24, 2022) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that Appalachian communities can apply now for grants to help them achieve economic and community development goals.

The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands is accepting applications in anticipation of receiving 2022 Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant funding, previously known as the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program. The deadline to submit an application is April 1, 2022.

“These grants are creating hundreds of jobs and a strong economic future in our Eastern Kentucky counties,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are ready to receive applications and award more funds to help build that better Kentucky for all of our families and communities.”

Each application must include details of its economic and community advantages along with a connection to pre-law coal mining (mining that was completed prior to May 18, 1982).

“We are excited to once again offer Appalachian communities the opportunity to apply for and receive AMLER grants, which have been proven to bring jobs and economic development to the area,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman.

Previous successful grant applications include industrial development, workforce training, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, agritech and community wellness projects.

Since the program’s inception, 63 projects in 23 counties have been selected for $138 million in funding. The program has generated 143 jobs, including 83 new positions at the Dajcor Aluminum extrusion project in Perry County, and allowed for training more than 258 workers at the East Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) and at the Hazard Community and Technical College.

Once projects are completed, these 63 grantees are projected to have created more than 2,800 new jobs for the region.

In November, Gov. Beshear and U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced $9.18 million in AMLER grants for economic development projects in 10 Eastern Kentucky counties.

Those projects selected for funding in November include the following:

  • Cold Storage LLC was awarded $2.5 million for construction of an agriculture cold storage facility in Martin County in which an underused spec building will be converted into a refrigerated commercial facility, allowing apples to be stored up to a year after picking.
  • Cowan Community Action Group Inc. was awarded $1 million to equip the Farmers Market Pavilion with cold storage, commercial equipment, restrooms, an office and stage, and to expand the Cowan food service kitchen as well as to equip a food truck.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare was awarded $750,000 to equip the Highlands ARH Medical Center in Prestonsburg with a diagnostic CT scanner and mammogram equipment.
  • Leslie County Fiscal Court was awarded $1 million to expand the Leslie County Recreational Facility by constructing a camping complex with 114 picnic tables, stationary grills and fire pit rings. Almost 70 RV pads will be constructed as well as a 40,000-square-foot entertainment pavilion that will include an event stage, roadway and parking.
  • The City of Booneville was awarded $600,000 for construction of cabins to allow for overnight accommodations at the Sag Hollow Golf Club.
  • KCEOC Community Action Partnership Inc. was awarded $750,000 to purchase an existing 20,000-square-foot building on 10 acres in Knox County for a diesel mechanics shop and CDL test site. KCEOC will lease the facility to Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College, which will operate the training facility.
  • The City of Ashland was awarded $1 million to engineer and design a parking garage and convention center in downtown Ashland.
  • Pike County Fiscal Court was awarded $700,000 to install 3,000 feet of electric lines at the Wolfpit Industrial & Technology Park.
  • The Knott County Water District was awarded $600,000 for the purchase of two backup generators for the system that produces water for three counties, serving 7,000 citizens.
  • Hazard Community & Technical College was awarded $280,000 for equipment purchases to expand its successful lineman training program.

Projects selected through the program are vetted and approved by the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

The 2022 AMLER application and supporting information are located on the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands website.