FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today surprised Wayne County officials today with $1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The money will assist Foothills Academy Inc. with construction of a residential treatment facility for adolescent girls.
"The facility will give at-risk girls structure and the opportunity to make a better life for themselves,” said Governor Fletcher. “Projects like these represent our continued efforts to build strong communities across Kentucky.”
The facility, to be located on 45 acres in rural Wayne County, will be known as Otter Creek Academy. The facility will have 12,238 square feet – space enough to house and treat up to 48 at-risk adolescent girls, age 13 to 18.
The program provides supervision and structure, counseling, an on-site school, and opportunities to learn life and job skills. The building will be complete with dormitory and living space, medical services, space for group therapy, offices and lounge spaces. A 7,100-square-foot multi-purpose building also will be constructed on site. It will have dedicated kitchen, dining and education areas.
Educational components of the program will be offered through the Wayne County Board of Education. High School credit and GED testing will be offered as well as counseling and community service work. The project is a companion to the Foothills Academy for boys in neighboring Clinton County. Officials estimate the creation of approximately 50 jobs for service workers, office and clerical personnel, and professional and managerial positions. At least 51 percent of the positions will be for low- to moderate-income individuals.
Kentucky congressional leaders support the CDBG program, in which federal housing and urban development funds are made available through the Governor’s Office of Local Development, which administers the CDBG Small Cities program.
Agriculture Diversification Funding
Also while in Wayne County, Governor Fletcher presented a $158,757 check to the Wayne County Agricultural Development Council for agricultural diversification efforts.
Cost-share programs being operated with Wayne County Agricultural Development Funds include agricultural diversification; dairy diversification; forage resource improvement and utilization; hay, straw, and commodity storage; cattle genetics improvement; cattle handling facilities; farm livestock fencing improvement; goat and sheep diversification; swine diversification, and technology.
“The Wayne County Agricultural Development Council has continued its support of agriculture diversification by using these funds to help county producers make needed changes to their farming operations,” Governor Fletcher said. “This not only affects the agriculture sector but also has a tremendous impact on the total economy of Wayne County and the commonwealth.”
Governor Fletcher and the Kentucky Legislature continue to make great strides toward lessening Kentucky’s dependence on tobacco production while revitalizing the farm economy. Fifty percent of Kentucky's Master Settlement Agreement continues to be invested in the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. To date, Kentucky has invested more than $230 million in an array of county, regional and state projects designed to increase net farm income and create sustainable, farm-based businesses.
“Kentucky is the leading state in the investment of Phase I Tobacco Settlement money into the diversification of agriculture. I am pleased that Wayne County has an opportunity to use these funds in this Program,” said Rep. Ken Upchurch (R-Monticello). “Our County is privileged to be awarded $158,757 for this program which will help diversify their farm operation.”
More than 2,730 projects have been funded through the Agricultural Development Fund since the inception of the program in January 2001.
Public Safety Funding for Wayne County
Governor Fletcher also presented a $5,000 homeland security check to Wayne County Fiscal Court to fund communications equipment for the county’s first responders.
“Ensuring that our commonwealth’s first responders can communicate effectively is a critical concern that we are addressing throughout Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher. “This funding to Wayne County will help fix this problem and ensure a greater level of public safety for this community.”
The homeland security check presented today will provide the county with a radio-based pager system that will allow first responders to be notified of emergencies even if land phone lines are down in the area.
Because of its topography, Wayne County is at risk of losing communications in an emergency. Radio-based pagers will provide responders with a critical communications link.