Governor presents three Mayfield residents with keys to new travel trailers from Commonwealth Sheltering Program
SMITHLAND / MAYFIELD, Ky. (March 11, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $1,842,372 to three cities and four utilities in Crittenden, Graves and Livingston counties. The funding, from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program, will deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems. The program is estimated to create approximately 3,800 jobs across the state.
“Kentuckians deserve clean water, safe communities and reliable infrastructure that meets their needs,” said Gov. Beshear. “These projects will help our families have an even better quality of life and will encourage business leaders to keep investing in Kentucky.”
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million was appropriated at the close of the 2021 General Assembly through a bipartisan agreement for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.
The Pennyrile Area Development District submitted funding requests for Crittenden and Livingston counties’ projects to the KIA; the Purchase Area Development District submitted Graves County’s projects.
In Smithland, the Governor awarded $120,000 to Livingston County from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to improve safety and accessibility and support economic development.
In Mayfield, Gov. Beshear presented three residents with keys to their temporary travel trailers. Before the tornado, the three women – Linda Whitt, Sandra Egner and Glynda Glover – were neighbors. Now, they’re going to be neighbors again, in travel trailers provided by the Commonwealth Sheltering Program. With the addition of Whitt, Egner and Glover, there are now 41 families and 148 individuals living in travel trailers through the Commonwealth Sheltering Program, with 26 of those in Graves County, 11 in Hopkins County, three in Muhlenberg County and one in Ohio County. The commonwealth is also in the process of placing families and individuals in Hart, Marshall and Warren counties.
In Crittenden County, Gov. Beshear awarded:
$173,410 to the City of Marion for a new wastewater treatment plant. The existing wastewater treatment plant was originally constructed in the early 1970s and has exceeded its useful life.
$150,000 to the Crittenden-Livingston County Water District for filter replacements that will help increase efficiency at the water treatment plant.
“Access to functioning water infrastructure is one of the primary focuses of the General Assembly. Clean water plays a critical part in a person’s health,” said Rep. Lynn Bechler, who represents Caldwell, Crittenden and Livingston counties and a portion of Christian County. “Today’s announcement is great news for our community!”
“I am very grateful for the time Gov. Beshear has taken to be in West Kentucky for the purpose of presenting our community with this much needed financial assistance to be utilized for the improvements to our water supply efforts within the Crittenden/Livingston Water District’s treatment facility,” said Crittenden County Judge/Executive Perry Newcom. “On behalf of the businesses and citizens of Marion for the funds made available to provide much needed financial relief toward the construction of the City of Marion’s new wastewater treatment facility, I express our utmost thanks. We realize had it not been a total Team Kentucky effort between Gov. Beshear and all our General Assembly members, this assistance would not have been possible.”
“The City of Marion is grateful to receive support from partners throughout the commonwealth. It takes all levels of government working together to assure the availability and quality of clean water for generations to come,” Marion City Administrator Adam Ledford said. “This allocation will directly fund improvements in assuring our streams and rivers remain a rich commodity for Western Kentucky in addition to offering relief to the burden of small towns.”
In Graves County, Gov. Beshear awarded:
$394,478 to Mayfield Electric & Water Systems (MEWS) to rehabilitate its water treatment plant that is aging and needs upgrades. This will allow MEWS to continue to provide quality service.
$500,000 to the Graves County Water District for the rehabilitation of two water storage tanks in the distribution system. This will allow the tanks to be in service for another 20 years.
$100,000 to the Graves County Water District to reroute the wastewater flows from the Fancy Farm community to the MEWS wastewater treatment facility located in Mayfield. The construction of this alternative will eliminate a discharge to the community’s streams, reduce energy costs associated with operating two treatment plants and allow flows to be treated at a wastewater facility utilizing modern treatment techniques.
$240,155 to the City of Wingo to rehabilitate its lagoon levee.
$134,000 to Symsonia Water District to expand water lines along Kentucky Route 131 which will allow the system to form a loop to help decrease pressure problems in this area. Along Kaler Road, there are several acres being developed for subdivisions, and providing water will encourage development in this portion of the county and also improve the fire suppression for the current and future residents.
“The funding announced today for the improvement of the water infrastructure will help improve many lives in Graves County. Safe drinking water is something everyone should have access to,” said Rep. Richard Heath, who represents Graves County and a portion of McCracken County. “I look forward to seeing these vital infrastructure updates in our district.”
“We are very thankful that the funding is being made available for these projects. This infrastructure is very crucial in providing the assistance our community needs right now,” Graves County Judge/Executive Jesse Perry said.
“This allocation for Cleaner Water Projects is such an important step in the rebuilding of Mayfield’s infrastructure, and we are so grateful to Gov. Beshear,” Mayfield Mayor Kathy O’Nan said.
“Mayfield Electric & Water Systems appreciates the direct response from the Governor’s Office, especially because these funds come at a time when our city has been damaged from a deadly tornado,” Marty Ivy, MEWS superintendent, said. “This is a sign of recovery that we have been looking for to help us rebuild. Thank you so much, Gov. Beshear.”
“The money from this grant will be a great help to Wingo Waste Water,” Wingo Mayor Charles Shelby said. “We will be able to work on meeting our permit numbers. Any help to upgrade the system, which was installed in 1968, is a big step in the right direction.”
“These funds are replacing a water main that we have had multiple breaks on in the last three years,” Symsonia Water District Superintendent Jimmy Waid said. “We have several customers, along with a daycare, that has to shut down when a break happens; also, we are adding one new customer in the process. We are also adding two new fire hydrants for fire protection, so are very grateful for these funds.”
In Livingston County, Gov. Beshear:
Awarded $150,329 to the City of Grand Rivers to replace an undersized water main that is nearing the end of its useful life and to improve distribution system flows.
Announced the Livingston County Fiscal Court will receive $120,000 in TAP funds to improve safety, accessibility and support economic development in Smithland. The award will fund a feasibility study to evaluate the future construction of a concrete barrier wall along Riverfront Drive in Smithland, as well as a scenic viewing area for travelers to watch the colorful merging of water channels from the Ohio River and Cumberland River. There is currently no barrier wall along the portion of Riverfront Drive that overlooks the rivers to protect vehicles from a steep drop off or protect the road from flooding. The proposed scenic view point would provide pedestrian access to the scenic site, encouraging public health and supporting local tourism. TAP is a federally funded reimbursement program administered through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Local Programs. This award will cover 80% of the project cost.
“Clean water is the cornerstone of our communities’ infrastructure,” Sen. Jason Howell said. “These much needed funds will ensure that Crittenden and Livingston counties continue to thrive for generations to come.”
“Clean water is crucial to a vibrant, healthy community, and I am grateful for the continued work on this effort,” Sen. Danny Carroll said. “In addition to providing clean water, the efforts on the Riverfront Drive Scenic Viewpoint will be a beautiful addition the entire region will enjoy.”
About the Cleaner Water Program
More than $147 million has been awarded to grantees to fund transformative projects since the call for projects was announced June 1. Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, collaborated with their local Area Development Districts and Area Water Management Councils to submit projects for Cleaner Water Program funding. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.
Cleaner Water program funding is allocated in three ways:
$150 million based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act. A list of the allocations by county can be found here.
$50 million is available for utilities to provide drinking water services to unserved, rural customers or to utilities under a federal consent decree. The KIA shall consider social, economic and environmental benefits in determining the allocations.
$49.9 million is available to supplement a project grant for a project with a cost in excess of a county’s allocation amount and other available grant sources. The social, economic and environmental benefits shall be considered in determining project allocations. KIA will receive $75,000 to administer the grant program.
The application deadline was Nov. 19, 2021; however, KIA will make awards continuously throughout the year. All grant awardees must obligate the funds by Dec. 31, 2024.
The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.
Information about the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at governor.ky.gov/BetterKy.