Gov. Beshear Awards $1.4 Million to Logan and Todd Counties for Water and Sewer Improvements
RUSSELLVILLE, ELKTON, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $1,446,859 to six cities and four water utilities in Logan and Todd counties. The funding, from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program, will deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems. The program is estimated to create approximately 3,800 jobs across the state.
“Working together to build a better Kentucky means maintaining the infrastructure we have,” said Gov. Beshear. “These projects address long overdue needs and bring improvements that will mean safer, more reliable services and clean drinking water for thousands of residents in this area.”
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million was appropriated at the close of the 2021 General Assembly through a bipartisan agreement for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.
The Pennyrile and Barren River Area Development Districts submitted funding requests for the projects to the KIA. These include wastewater treatment plant improvements, the replacement of aged waterlines and the installation of new technology. Examples include:
The City of Russellville will invest $111,040 to replace nearly 3,900 feet of outdated galvanized or cast-iron pipelines that now serve nearly 30 customers. The upgraded pipes will improve water flow, reduce leaks and provide better fire protection for the area.
For a project in Logan County, the Todd County Water District will receive $144,374 to install cellular endpoints that will enhance its ability to read and monitor water meters. Through the new technology, meters will be monitored daily, allowing leaks or other adverse events to be identified quickly. Customers will get access to an iCloud portal that will allow them to self-monitor usage in real time.
“Clean water infrastructure makes all the difference in the world in improving the quality of life, especially in rural Logan County,” said Sen. Whitney Westerfield, who represents Logan and Todd counties. “I want to thank Judge Chick, Mayor Stratton and the rest of the Logan County team for their hard work in bringing about these improvements.”
“This is a tremendous announcement for Logan County. We want to thank the Governor and his office for making this funding available,” said Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick.
In Todd County, funds totaling $146,703 will be invested to rehabilitate the Trenton wastewater treatment plant. The existing plant was built in 1967 and will require upgrades to meet today’s standards and the needs of its customers.
“As mayor of Trenton, I am pleased to receive these funds for our water treatment plant, which will provided some needed upgrades to our 60-plus-year-old plant. It could very well keep our water superintendent from serious injury,” said Trenton Mayor Martha Jo Ray.
“Clean water and a high functioning sewer system are essentials to improving the quality of life in any community,” said Sen. Westerfield. “I appreciate the hard work of Judge Mansfield, Mayor Green and John Walton and the other community leaders for their hard work to improve the infrastructure in Todd County.”
A full list of awarded projects for the City of Adairville, City of Auburn, East Logan Water District, City of Russellville, South Logan Water Association, Todd County Water District, Logan-Todd Regional Water Commission, City of Elkton, City of Guthrie and City of Trenton can be found here.
“This investment is exactly what we intended when we made upgrading our aging and antiquated drinking and wastewater a priority during the 2021 regular session,” said Rep. Jason Petrie, who represents Logan and Todd counties. “This is a common sense investment that not only improves our quality of life but also economic development opportunities. The impact on our community certainly weighs heavily on my mind as we consider making additional investments in water infrastructure.”
“On behalf of the Todd County Fiscal Court, I would like to thank Gov. Beshear, KIA, the Pennyrile Area Development District and all that helped make this day possible,” said Todd County Judge/Executive Todd Mansfield. “Gov. Beshear has shown a great interest in Todd County and the commonwealth’s infrastructure. The projects announced today for the City of Elkton, City of Guthrie, City of Trenton and Todd County Water District are just a few examples of the Governor’s infrastructure investments that will benefit the citizens of Todd County and the commonwealth for years to come.”
“We are grateful for the Governor’s announcement of funds to improve our water storage tank. This funding will allow us to maintain our infrastructure, enabling the City of Elkton to continue to serve our community,” said Elkton City Mayor Arthur Green. “The Governor’s presence in Elkton today ensures our citizens that these funds will be used to meet a current need. As mayor, I am glad this project and other projects for Todd County are being funded that will benefit the whole county.”
“On behalf of the Todd County Water District, we would like to thank Gov. Beshear and his administration for the funding that will be used for the Water Districts Master Meter project,” said Todd County Water District Superintendent John Haley. “This project will monitor water usage throughout our water system with a series of cellular read master meters. These master meters will help identify leaks, system demands and deliver the data to our desktop daily. The data collected will give us the information to become more efficient in controlling water loss, operating costs thus benefitting all aspects of the Todd County Water District.”
“On behalf of the City of Guthrie, I’m grateful for this funding and for all Gov. Beshear is doing to help out our community and prepare for further economic growth,” said Guthrie Mayor Jimmy Covington.
About the Cleaner Water Program
A total of $60 million has been awarded to grantees to fund transformative projects since the call for projects was announced June 1. Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, collaborated with their local Area Development Districts (ADD) and Area Water Management Councils to submit projects for Cleaner Water Program funding. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.
Cleaner Water program funding is allocated in three ways:
$150 million 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.
$50 million is available for 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 a project grant for a project 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.
The application deadline was Nov. 19, 2021; however, KIA will make awards continuously throughout the year. All grant awardees must obligate the funds by Dec. 31, 2024.
The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.
Information about the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at governor.ky.gov/BetterKy.
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