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Gov. Beshear, Congressman Rogers hosted virtual ribbon cuttings for three EKY projects

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 1:30 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 5:22 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers, Senate President Robert Stivers, Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman and a host of others representing projects in three Eastern Kentucky counties are holding a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony in Frankfort.

Governor Beshear celebrated the completion of the projects saying that it will help with the development of Eastern Kentucky.

“In the coming months and years, more and more of these projects will continue, bringing jobs and economic diversity to Eastern Kentucky,” said the Governor.

The projects include rails to trails in Prestonsburg, Dajcor Aluminum in Perry County and Impact Outdoor Adventures in Clay County.

All projects funded with nearly 14 million dollars from Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program grants.

“To see it happen and to see smiling faces with someone who has been pushing a project for years finally see it come to fruition gives me pleasure as well,” said Congressman Rogers. “Country music, water, fishing, sightseeing, hiking you name it we’re trying to take advantage of the beauty that we have and the excitement of our people to welcome people into their neighborhood.”

Les Stapleton, Prestonsburg Mayor, says it has been a long time coming but he is excited to see the impact on the community.

“We are trying to improve everybody’s health and I’ve seen people out there who haven’t been out there in a long time people on bicycles and that’s really exciting to see,” said Stapleton. “We’ve had so much cooperation throughout the whole process and it’s a long process. It seems sometimes like you’re stuck in the mud but we are always moving forward and here we are.”

Mike Kilby, President of Dajcor Aluminum, says they also see great progress in their operations.

“We had plans to hire 26 people this year and we were going to ramp up production and that is just ahead of schedule. So we have 32 people now ready and production is further ahead than we thought it would be at this point. So we are pretty excited about the start.”

Congressman Rogers also brought attention to the Kentucky Wired project which provides broadband to people in the region. He says it is more important than ever with the pandemic to get that project completed.

“The ribbon-cutting celebration is a revival in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky where abandoned mine lands are coming back to life in the form of new industries and new opportunities. We’re proving that Kentucky’s Appalachian region is not only one of the most beautiful parts of the country, full of tourism adventures, but we can also competitively manufacture top-of-the-line products with high-tech equipment,” said Congressman Hal Rogers.

You can watch the ceremony here:

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