FRANKFORT, Ky. — Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Barbourville today to announce more than $3.1 million in funding for community projects in Knox County. The funding will be used to renovate the Knox County Help, Inc. Senior Citizens Center, improve water infrastructure and construct the West Knox Courthouse Annex.
“Before we funded this project, the senior citizens center was operating out of the old county jail,” said Governor Fletcher. “It is important to ensure that our seniors are given the right kind of environment for their activities and programs. This funding will help to provide a better place for services that encourage seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
$500,000 Community Development Block Grant
Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to Knox County officials. The funding will be used to renovate an existing 5,000 square-foot building that will serve as of the future home of the Knox County Help, Inc. Senior Citizens Center.
The Knox County Help, Inc. Senior Citizens Center was operating out of the former county jail. This facility did not provide adequate accommodations for senior activities and programs. The senior citizens center plans to move its services to the new location once renovations are complete.
“This grant demonstrates how different branches of government at both the local and state levels can come together to make a project happen and help to improve the quality of life for our seniors,” said Rep. Jim Stewart (R-Flat Lick).
Located on Harding Street in Barbourville, the renovated building will have a recreation area, commercial kitchen, cafeteria, computer room, restrooms, lobby area, staff offices and additional storage facilities. Renovations also include upgrades to plumbing and electrical systems.
The Knox County Fiscal Court owns the building and has entered into a lease agreement with Knox County Help, Inc. to operate the senior citizens center.
Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally and within the Commonwealth. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD). GOLD is the state agency responsible for administering the CDBG Small Cities program.
$1.9 Million in State Bond Funds for Water and Sewer Projects
Governor Fletcher announced $1.9 million in state bond funds for improvements in water and sewer infrastructure in Knox County. The Governor presented ceremonial checks to local officials for water line extension projects for the Stinking Creek, Poplar Creek, Flat Lick and Hubbs Hollow areas, and for various wastewater improvement projects.
“Improving our water and sewer systems is a critical step to improving the quality of life for our citizens and attracting increased economic investment in the area,” said Sen. Robert Stivers (R-Manchester).
$750,000 will be used for water line extension projects for the Stinking Creek, Poplar Creek and Flat Lick areas. The project includes 25 miles of distribution extension to service 166 new residents and upgrades to an existing waterline along HWY 718 from the junction of KY 223.
$250,000 will be used for water line extensions for the Flat Creek and Hubbs Hollow areas and for the installation of a tank and pump station.
$300,000 will be used to extend 14,000 feet of eight inch sewer line and install two pump stations to serve 160 homes in Heidrick.
$600,000 will be used to construct a treatment pond at the Barbourville Wastewater Plant.
$750,000 in State Bond Funds for West Knox Courthouse Annex
Governor Fletcher presented $750,000 in state bond funds to local officials for the construction of the West Knox Courthouse Annex. The funding will be used for various activities related to the development and construction of a 6,500 square foot building. The building will include administrative offices, conference rooms and space for emergency services.