Gov. Beshear Presents $11.6 Million in Perry County to Improve Infrastructure, Provides Update on Travel Trailers

New water treatment plant expected to create hundreds of jobs, generate $13 million in private investment

HAZARD, Ky. (Sept. 6, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear presented $11.6 million for four projects to improve infrastructure, public safety and water treatment in Perry County. He also provided an update on the travel trailers en route to Floyd, Letcher and Perry counties, donated by the State of Louisiana after they were originally purchased to house Hurricane Ida survivors.

“The projects we are announcing today are going to improve the health and wellbeing of our Eastern Kentucky communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are making good on our promise to be with Eastern Kentucky for the long haul. We have brighter days on our horizon.”

Buckhorn Water Treatment Plant
Gov. Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers presented a ceremonial check totaling $8,893,200 to the City of Hazard and the City of Buckhorn to construct a water treatment plant that can process 2 million gallons per day. The new plant will provide reliable water service to 1,198 households and 19 businesses in the Coal Fields Regional Industrial Park, the City of Buckhorn and the Chavies community. This will reduce stress on the existing Hazard water treatment plant and will allow for future development and economic growth.

“In the midst of such widespread devastation after the flood, it is great to have something to celebrate for our friends in Buckhorn and Perry County. The days of boiling water will soon be over, thanks to the funding that we are announcing today for a new water treatment plant in Buckhorn,” said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives. “This project will provide the long-term fix that folks need and deserve in Buckhorn. It is also a great example of what we can accomplish when federal, state and local leaders work together to improve local water service.”

This project is anticipated to create 364 jobs, retain 351 jobs and generate $13 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

The funding comes from federal and state sources:

  • $5 million from the federal Economic Development Administration;
  • $2 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, administered at the state level by the Department for Local Government (DLG);
  • $1 million in Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program funding, administered at the state level by the Energy and Environment Cabinet; and
  • $893,200 in Appalachian Regional Commission funding, administered at the state level by DLG.

“Clean water is the fundamental bedrock of any thriving community, and the addition of this water treatment plant will be an invaluable addition to our community’s infrastructure,” Sen. Brandon Smith of Hazard said.

“This is by far the best and most exciting news that has been announced in Perry County in some time,” said Perry County Judge/Executive Scott Alexander. “We have seen water issues here and we are seeing water shortages across our country. This addition to our small community will make our residents quality of life better and also will lead to our county becoming a hub for economic development in Appalachia for generations to come.”

City of Hazard and Perry County New Ambulance Station
Gov. Beshear awarded $1,789,000 in CDBG funding to the City of Hazard and Perry County for a new ambulance station. The project will renovate the old Manufacturer’s Supply Building in Hazard and turn it into an ambulance station serving northern Perry County. Exterior renovations will include installing six garage door bays, garage doors, a new roof and repaving service drives. Interior renovations will upgrade the walls, floors and ceilings, as well as the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.

“It’s a great day for Perry County and its residents. Investment in our rural communities means a better and stronger Kentucky,” Sen. Smith said. “These funds will go a long way in ensuring structure and normalcy for residents after so many have been left traumatized by the recent flooding events. The expansion of the Perry County Ambulance Authority is long overdue and will provide more efficient emergency services, potentially saving lives.”

“The City of Hazard appreciates all of the support the Governor has shown us during these terrible times and by awarding us this money to help with the wastewater plant shows that he knows we need this to make our city and county stronger,” said Hazard Mayor Donald “Happy” Mobelini.

“The new ambulance station is much needed and will help us cover Perry County more efficiently,” said Perry County Ambulance Authority Director Betsy Stacy. “This money will make our county a safer and healthier place to live.”

The Perry County Ambulance Authority will own, maintain and insure the new building.

Road Resurfacing Awards for Coal Fields Industrial Park
The Governor presented $856,110 for Perry County from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), which will help resurface portions of two roads: KYTC allocated $719,030 for Coal Fields Industrial Road and $137,080 for Trus Joist Lane.

These roads both run through Coal Fields Industrial Park, so the investment will benefit local businesses, employees and the county’s overall economic development efforts as they work to expand the park.

Perry County Park Improvements
Gov. Beshear also announced his recommendation that the National Parks Service approve $65,844 in funding to Perry County for improvements to the Perry County Park. The project, if approved, would resurface and restripe the park’s tennis courts. Additional lighting and new fencing would also be installed around the courts.

“This funding would help us significantly improve our tennis courts at the park,” said Dennis Farler, parks director for Perry County. “These courts are in need of upgrades, and we want to provide quality outdoor spaces for our citizens.”

Travel Trailers
The Governor said that to date the state has moved 299 individuals into 197 travel trailers, up from 119 last Wednesday, which includes the 41 onsite in Perry County, with more trailers and locations in Perry County coming soon. Other flood-impacted areas with travel trailer locations include Jenny Wiley State Resport Park, Carr Creek, Mine Made Campground and Crockettsville Campground, and will soon include Clay County.

About the Land & Water Conservation Fund
The LWCF provides federal grant funds to protect important natural areas, acquire land for outdoor recreation and develop or renovate public outdoor recreation facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, sports and playfields, swimming facilities, boating and fishing facilities, trails, natural areas and parks. To receive the federal funds, selected applicants must undergo federal review and receive approval from the National Park Service.

About the Community Development Block Grant Program
The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

About the Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization Program
The AMLER Program is an opportunity for Appalachian communities to achieve economic and community development goals in areas that have been impacted by the downturn of coal production. AMLER is funded from the federal general treasury through annual appropriations to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.