Gov. Beshear Awards $1.8 Million to Shelby County, First Better Kentucky Plan Cleaner Water Program Grant Recipient

Award will fund construction of a gravity sewer main to new wastewater treatment plant

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 20, 2021) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $1.8 million to Shelby County, the first recipient to receive funding from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program.

The program will deliver clean drinking water and improve water and sewer systems across the state, creating approximately 3,800 jobs.

The Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission will use the funding to construct a new 36-inch gravity sewer main to the new Shelbyville Wastewater Treatment Plant. The new sewer main will replace two sewage pumping stations, one of which is at capacity and is prone to sanitary sewer overflows caused by heavy rain.

“The Shelbyville area has experienced considerable growth in recent years and the western area, served by the Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission, is an attractive location for businesses and industries looking to expand,” said Gov. Beshear. “Eliminating the underperforming pump stations in Shelbyville’s industrial park area with a new sewer main will ensure that citizens and businesses have reliable and operational water systems for years to come.”

At a meeting of the Shelby County Water Management Council, members unanimously agreed to direct their entire $1.8 million county allocation to the Shelbyville project.

“Shelbyville’s existing wastewater treatment plant is nearing 90% capacity and a second treatment plant is under design with construction to be complete in 2023,” said Shelby County Judge-Executive Dan Ison. “This new sewer main is necessary to get sewage to the new plant while avoiding sewage overflows. We’re grateful for the funds and know they will be put to good use with this project.”

“This project is essential for continued residential, commercial and industrial growth in our community and will enable us to continue the quality service that we offer to our citizens,” said Shelbyville Mayor David Eaton.

The Kentucky Regional Planning and Development Agency submitted the funding request to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), the agency responsible for administering the $250 million Cleaner Water Program.

Cleaner Water Program funding will be allocated in three ways:

  • $150 million will be allocated 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 grants to 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 grants for projects 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.

“This is the first of many awards that will be issued throughout the year that will make a difference in Kentucky communities,” said KIA Executive Director and Public Protection Cabinet Deputy Secretary Ray Perry. “Upgrading our water systems not only improves outcomes for communities and the environment, but it also boosts our economy by creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs.” 

“I am overjoyed about this project and the benefits it will bring to our home city. In the Kentucky General Assembly, my colleagues and I were committed to making needed investments in our infrastructure, including expanding broadband, improving our highways and roadways and ensuring funding for water and sewer projects essential to Kentuckians’ health and economic well-being,” said Sen. Paul Hornback. “I am excited about the residential, commercial and industrial opportunities this can present for our community. I want to thank local leaders for bringing this project forward and especially Mr. Doyle and the Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission for their work. We are grateful for the allocation of federal funding that made this investment possible and for the bipartisan work of the Governor in prioritizing how those dollars were allocated. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this project.”

“During my first legislative session as State Representative for Shelby County, I supported SB 36, which allocated the funding that will be used to complete the wastewater projects Gov. Beshear announced in Shelbyville,” said Rep. Jennifer Decker. “I am excited that residents in District 58 will benefit from monies allocated by the Kentucky General Assembly for improving wastewater treatment throughout the commonwealth.”

A call for Cleaner Water Program funding requests launched June 1, 2021. Water Resource coordinators, representing Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts and Area Water Management Councils, may submit project profiles through the Water Resource Information System portal to indicate interest in funding from the Cleaner Water Program. Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, may collaborate with a coordinator and council to submit a project. The application and award process will be ongoing throughout 2021 until all funding is committed.

Information about the Better Kentucky Plan, including the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at

The Better Kentucky Plan adds to recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger following the effects of the pandemic.

More Information
Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at and the state’s response to COVID-19 at