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$2 million awarded towards water and sewer projects in Eastern Kentucky

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - On Wednesday, Congressman Hal Rogers and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced $2 million dollars will go towards improving clean water and wastewater systems for several counties in eastern Kentucky.

The Army Corps of Engineers awarded more than $1 million for the Buckhorn Dam Tailwater Channel Raw Water Intake Structure, more than $467,000 for Phase III of the Troublesome Creek Environmental Authority’s Highway 80 Sewer Collection Project in Knott and Perry Counties, and more than $457,000 for Elkhorn City’s Stillhouse Water Storage Tank Project in Pike County.

“This is another step to in to solving the long term goals of the water situations that we face,” said Perry County Judge Executive Scott Alexander. “This is some more seed money into the development of that and it’s a also a project we’ve been working on down route 80 and this was also the seed money for that.”

A needed resource, Alexander said the future depends on.

“When you get into agriculture, when you get into healthcare, when you get into jobs and growth, it takes a lot of water and we see the issues that a lot of America is facing and it can be a great economic tool for us to say hey we have plenty of water, you can locate here and we can meet you’re needs,” he said.

As the projects begin, city leaders ask for patience.

“We’ve heard them. Since the mayor’s been on bored. He’s worked extremely well to see that we can serve the citizens of Perry County with adequate water and also that we can serve the growth of Perry County with adequate water,” he said.

The federal funds come from southern and eastern Kentucky 531 program that Congressman Rogers established in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996.

“We are doing a lot of things right in Eastern Kentucky, by comprehensively investing in every aspect of our communities. We can’t invest in better healthcare, agriculture and job creation activities, without also investing in clean water and reliable wastewater projects – they work in tandem with one another. These project awards will go a long way to shore up those infrastructure needs in Perry, Knott and Pike counties,” said Rep. Rogers. “This is the 25th anniversary of the program, and I was pleased to raise the cap to $100 million, protecting this program for years to come. I appreciate Senator McConnell’s support of this program each year and working together for the benefit of the people of Eastern Kentucky.”

“With today’s announcement, Eastern Kentucky residents will receive critical funding for important water infrastructure improvements, helping to promote much-needed economic development in their region. I was proud to secure an increase to this program’s authorization limit through the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 to provide these types of resources to communities across Kentucky,” said Sen. McConnell. “My friend Representative Hal Rogers established this constructive program and together, we will continue to fight for Eastern Kentucky and work to ensure all its residents are provided with clean, accessible water and sewer services.”

“This is the first of many steps needed to get clean drinking water where its needed the most. Building a new water intake in Buckhorn will pave the way for a new water treatment plant that will not only be able to serve the Buckhorn and Chavies communities, but also the Coalfields Regional Industrial Park and neighboring counties,” said Hazard Mayor Happy Mobelini.

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