“Days like today are good days”: Governor Andy Beshear touts infrastructure funding in Southeastern Kentucky

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Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT
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BELL/HARLAN COS., Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear made a stop in Southeastern Kentucky Tuesday afternoon, touting nearly $245,000 in funding to improve infrastructure in Bell and Harlan Counties, as well as a recommendation for improvements at Kingdom Come State Park.

“Days like today are good days, and we deserve a lot of good days. It’s investments in this beautiful state park, it’s repaving roads that lead to the school system,” said the Governor.

A total of $244,950 in awards will go toward resurfacing three roads and expanding water service in the counties. The governor is also making the recommendation that the National Park Service invest $200,000 in improvements at Kingdom Come State Park.

“We know that adventure tourism is the next step to help save our community and bring us back on the map and the only way we can do that is if we have somewhere for them to stay,” said Kingdom Come State Park Manager Sherry Cornett.

“Today’s funding prioritizes the wellbeing of Kentuckians,” said Gov. Beshear in a statement. “These awards are helping us build a better Kentucky by improving roads, water service and our state parks. These are fundamental investments that will improve the lives of our people.”

“With everything that Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky have dealt with these past few years from pandemics to to floods to inflation, days like today are good days and we deserve a lot of good days,” he added.

$34,000 of the funding is from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and is going to the city of Middlesboro to resurface Whirmer Industrial Park Road, which is curently gravel.

$195,000 in Cleaner Water Program funding is heading for the City of Pineville to replace and extend the Pine Mountain State Park/Sawmill Hollow water line, resulting in new water service to four previously unserved households.

And yet $10,450 more will go from KYTC to the City of Harlan to resurface 175 feet of South Williams Street.

The governor is recommending that Kingdom Come State Park receive $200,000 in funding from the National Park Service, that recommendation will now undergo federal review. The proposal includes funding for six new rentable cabins.

The recommendation comes after a community effort to match the $200,000.

“The Harlan County Fiscal Court, Friends of Kingdom Come State Park, Cumberland Tourism, the Frazier Foundation, all have come together to put up the money necessary to match that grant to make it even possible,” said Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley.

The project will also include the design and construction of new, buried utility infrastructure, roads, walkways, parking, lighting and signage to accommodate guests.

“A large part of our recruitment efforts for the folks we are going to need to become that economic superpower that we know Kentucky can be.. they’re going to be drawn here by places like this,” said Beshear.