FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor's Office for Local Development (GOLD) visited Letcher County today to present ceremonial checks for several grants and budget line-items for Letcher County.
Governor Fletcher surprised local officials with the announcement of a $2 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Whitesburg and Letcher County. Funds will be used to construct a 600,000 gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant. The new plant will replace a dilapidated 250,000 gallon-per-day plant that is operating at or above peak capacity. The project also consists of a sewer line extension to serve approximately 60 homes in the Whitco community. One pump station and 31 grinder pumps are also included in the project.
"It is important to the future of any community to have the proper infrastructure in place," said Governor Fletcher. "The construction of the Whitesburg Wastewater Treatment Plant, sewer lines and pumping stations are important to the citizens of Letcher County and they have the support of my administration."
Sen. Johnny Ray Turner (D-Drift) said, "Infrastructure is vital to the growth of this community. I am pleased to see this funding awarded to such a worthy project."
Kentucky's U. S. Congressional leaders continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally as well as within the commonwealth. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through GOLD, which administers the CDBG Small Cities program in Kentucky.
Infrastructure for Economic Development Fund
The Letcher County Fiscal Court received a $250,000 Infrastructure for Economic Development Fund (IEDF) line-item for the Thorton Waterline Extension project.
Rep. Howard Cornett (R-Whitesburg) said, "Clean drinking water is a key to a healthy community. Thanks to these funds, this area of Letcher County will have a more potable water source."
Recreational Trails Funds
Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check for $50,000 in Recreational Trails funding for the Pine Mountain Trail Development. Funds will be used for a variety of activities including the construction of 18 miles of trail that will run from highway 119 to Highway 160.
Rep. Ancel Smith (D-Leburn) said, "The development of this trail system and amenities will provide fantastic opportunities for Letcher County residents and visitors alike to enjoy the unique beauty of the area."
Other aspects of the project include the completion of a trailhead with visitor information and amenities; the graveling of a parking area; addition of lighting; completion and upgrading of an informational kiosk; trash bins; directional and informational signage; construction of a shelter; and construction of a campsite.
The Recreational Trails Program provides grant funds to develop and renovate recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized use. GOLD administers the Recreational Trails program.