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Gov. Andy Beshear Presents More Than $6.2 Million To Benefit Harlan County

From the Office of Ky Governor Beshear -

Gov. Andy Beshear - submitted by OFJ

HARLAN, Ky. (June 29, 2023) – Today, at the Harlan County Boys and Girls Club, Gov. Andy Beshear presented $6.2 million to support cleaner water, tourism, law enforcement, outdoor trails, road projects and local nonprofits.


“It’s an exciting day for Harlan County! We announced over $6.2 million to help build that better future we all want for our kids and grandkids,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today, we’re investing in cleaner water, roads, parks, tourism, local nonprofits and more, while helping protect our heroes in uniform. These funds are going to make a big difference for this community and everyone who gets to visit.”

“It is great to see these funds awarded that directly benefit the people of Harlan County,” said Rep. Adam Bowling of Middlesboro. “Responsible governance does not start at the national level, rather it starts at the state and local levels, supporting our local communities. These awards will drastically improve our county’s water, law enforcement and nonprofits and will also attract people to our beautiful county.”


“Today was an incredible day for Harlan County,” said Harlan County Judge/Executive Dan Mosley. “Every dollar announced today will make someone’s life better. We’re appreciative of all the support from our state leaders, and we’ll continue to make Harlan County a better place for everyone.”


“The funding announced today will go toward much-needed infrastructure improvements,” said Harlan Mayor Joe Meadors. “We’ll also use the funding to bring more people to town and show off all that Harlan has to offer. We appreciate the funding and will keep working to ensure a bright future for our city.”


“The investments we’re celebrating today will improve critical infrastructure, bolster regional tourism and uplift some great organizations,” said Harlan County Magistrate Leo Miller. “In my lifetime, no other Governor has done more for Harlan County and surrounding Southeastern Kentucky counties than Gov. Beshear. When he says he will do something, he gets it done.”


Appalachian Regional Commission Gov. Beshear celebrated the approval of $3.8 million in funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission for regional projects. Upon the recommendation of Gov. Beshear, the following projects will receive funding:

  • $1.3 million to the city of Harlan to replace outdated sewer lines and renovate a pump station;

  • $1 million to Harlan Municipal Water Works to renovate the water treatment plant and the raw water intake;

  • $1 million to Backroads of Appalachia to hire a full-time director and part-time operations and grant manager; and

  • $535,688 to reimburse Harlan Municipal Water Works for the emergency replacement of four failed filters in the Harlan municipal water system.

Cleaner Water Program Gov. Beshear announced the commitment of $1.6 million in funding from the Cleaner Water Program. The projects include:

  • $500,000 to the city of Evarts to renovate seven lift stations and make minor repairs at the wastewater treatment plant;

  • $500,000 to the city of Harlan to upgrade their water treatment plant;

  • $225,000 to the Cawood Water District to replace leak-prone waterlines;

  • $185,000 to the city of Cumberland to extend sewer service to 48 homes;

  • $175,000 to the Black Mountain Water District to replace leak-prone waterlines; and

  • $44,841 to Harlan County to extend sewer lines to serve a projected 200 homes.

The Cleaner Water Program is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). $500 million has been appropriated through a bipartisan agreement with the General Assembly to provide clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky since 2021. As a project progresses, the utility is reimbursed.


Recreational Trails Program Gov. Beshear announced his recommendation that the city of Lynch receives $25,000 to maintain the Walk of Legends Trail. This trail celebrates community members and recognizes their contributions to the town. The Federal Highway Administration will have final approval of the funding.


Tourism Marketing Funding Gov. Beshear awarded $118,462 to the City of Harlan Tourist and Convention Commission to support travel marketing and promotion and attract meetings and conventions. The award is part of the $75 million in federal ARPA funding announced by the Governor in July to boost the state’s tourism industry and economy following the decline in visitors brought on by the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, our entire state was hit hard, and the ARPA funding that the Kentucky legislature so graciously awarded to our convention and visitors bureaus, regions and state travel department will give us the opportunity to recover,” said Brandon Pennington, executive director of the City of Harlan Tourist and Convention Commission. “It gives all of our CVBs, no matter the size, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get our product back out into the market and recover. We are so grateful for this opportunity.”


The Governor also awarded $350,000 to the Appalachian Triangle of Kentucky project to support multicounty collaborative destination marketing. The project is a joint initiative between eight commissions and seven counties focusing on promoting the unique attractions and activities found in the Appalachian Triangle region of Kentucky.

“Through a newly energized marketing initiative, we hope to show travelers that the Appalachian Triangle is more than a stop on the way, but a destination all its own, where visitors can get lost in the abundant natural beauty, untamed spirit of adventure and neighborly hospitality of our region,” said Maggy Kriebel, executive director of the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission.


“Through the ARPA funding, we are able to showcase on a larger scale the wonderful assets of Rockcastle County, including the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum, which honors our musical heritage through displays and events,” said Jessica Blankenship, executive director of both the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Mt. Vernon-Rockcastle County Tourist Commission. “We will also be able to work with fellow tourism partners to showcase a positive light on this region to obtain more visitors. This will help provide a bigger economic impact.”


The funds are distributed by the Kentucky Department of Tourism to eligible tourism organizations throughout the commonwealth.


Law Enforcement Protection Program Gov. Beshear awarded $3,325 to the Evarts Police Department through the Law Enforcement Protection Program.


Road Resurfacing The Governor awarded $73,000 to the city of Harlan to help resurface Woodland Hills and Ivy Street.


Nonprofit Assistance Fund Gov. Beshear awarded nearly $200,000 to nonprofits in Harlan County. The awards come from the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund, which is helping organizations across Kentucky recover from the impacts of the pandemic. The funding comes from ARPA, and Gov. Beshear supported the allocation of funds by the General Assembly in 2022. This funding will provide one-time direct relief payments to support the mission and long-term sustainability of each eligible nonprofit. The awards include:

  • $100,000 to the Harlan County Boys and Girls Club;

  • $67,804 to COAP Inc.;

  • $20,784 to One Harlan County; and

  • $6,954 to the Backroads of Appalachia.

“I am immensely grateful for the nonprofit relief funds we received last year. These funds have been instrumental in our mission to uplift and empower the youth in our region. They have enabled us to expand our programs, reach more children and provide critical support during these challenging times,” said Kateena Haynes, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club. “We extend our deepest thanks to the Governor and the legislators who recognized the importance of investing in the future of nonprofits in our communities. Together, we are making a lasting impact on the lives of the young individuals we serve.” “One Harlan County is incredibly thankful to have received the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund grant. These funds will enable us to continue our work promoting business retention and expansion, providing support for local entrepreneurs and partnering with the Harlan County Economic Development Authority in efforts to develop industrial lands and recruit new industry to our county,” said Cole Raines, executive director of One Harlan County. “We would like to thank the Governor as well as the state and local officials who made this opportunity possible.”

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