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Gov. Beshear Announces Nearly $245,000 in Awards to Improve Infrastructure in Bell, Harlan Counties

From the Office Of Governor Andy Beshear

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced $244,950 in awards to improve infrastructure in Bell and Harlan counties by resurfacing three roads and extending water service to unserved households. The Governor also announced his recommendation that Kingdom Come State Park receive $200,000 in funding from the National Park Service.

“Today’s funding prioritizes the wellbeing of Kentuckians,” said Gov. Beshear. “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.”

Whirmer Industrial Park Road Resurfacing Gov. Beshear presented $34,000 from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to the City of Middlesboro for the resurfacing of Whirmer Industrial Park Road, which connects 9,300 constituents and 490 local businesses. The funding will go toward resurfacing 0.3 miles of Whirmer Industrial Park Road starting off South 17th Street and going to the railroad tracks. The road is currently gravel.

“My sincere thanks to Gov. Beshear for helping Middlesboro to improve our streets,” said Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson. “He has truly been a friend to our area.”

Pine Mountain State Park/Sawmill Hollow Water Line Replacement The Governor presented $195,000 in Cleaner Water Program funding to the City of Pineville for the Pine Mountain State Park/Sawmill Hollow water line replacement and extension project. The project will replace an existing 2-inch waterline serving a portion of Pine Mountain State Resort Park with a new 6-inch PVC waterline. It will also extend a 2-inch PVC waterline to serve the Sawmill Hollow area in Bell County. The new waterlines will provide water services to four currently unserved households.

“We appreciate Gov. Beshear and his administration supporting and helping Bell County with these additional funds,” said Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock.

East Clover Street and South Williams Street Resurfacing Projects Gov. Beshear presented $10,450 from KYTC to the City of Harlan for the resurfacing of East Clover Street. The project will resurface 845 feet of road beginning on South Williams Street and extending to Kentucky Highway 38.

The Governor also presented $5,550 from KYTC to the City of Harlan for the resurfacing of South Williams Street. The project will resurface 175 feet of road, beginning on East Central Street extending to East Clover Street.

Neither road has been resurfaced since the 1970s. This funding will improve the road conditions for 4,500 constituents and 65 local businesses.

“The City of Harlan is most appreciative for the recent funding from Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. This allows the city to resurface an area along East Clover Street and South Williams Street adjacent to Harlan High, Middle and Elementary schools,” said Harlan Mayor Joe Meadors. “This funding and a recent TAP grant also from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for sidewalks and recent school district capital projects of several million dollars will allow for the total transformation of this area within the City of Harlan. Again, the City of Harlan is thankful for Gov. Beshear’s continuing interest in assisting the City of Harlan’s infrastructure improvements.”

Kingdom Come State Park Gov. Beshear also announced his recommendation that Kingdom Come State Park receive $200,000 in funding from the National Park Service, where it will undergo federal review. The proposed project will include the design and construction of six new rentable camper cabins as well as the renovation of an existing park residence into a fully accessible camper cabin. The cabins will be of simple design with approximately 200 square feet of interior space, basic furnishings and electricity. The project will also include the design and construction of a new, accessible bathroom and shower facilities for guests.

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

The former park residence also will be renovated into a fully accessible camper cabin. The walkways, parking and signage will meet accessibility requirements and guidelines.

The project site is located across from Bullock Overlook, which will offer guests stunning views of the north face of Pine Mountain and the valley below. The site is also immediately adjacent to the Little Shepherd Trail, a 38-mile narrow gravel and blacktop road that follows along the crest of Pine Mountain and connects to the long-distance Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail.

“I am not very good with words, but I always remind my staff that ‘we may be small, but we are mighty!’ Being one of the smallest state parks, it’s often hard to get the attention needed, but I tell my staff that the day will come when the work we put in is realized,” said Kingdom Come State Park Manager Sherry Cornett.

“Kingdom Come State Park is a true hidden gem, and it means a lot that more people will get to better enjoy it because of this funding,” said House Minority Caucus Whip Angie Hatton. “I want to thank Park Manager Sherry Cornett and her staff for their hard work, while also saying how much I appreciate the National Park Service for helping to make the best state park system in the country even better.”

“These award announcements ensure our communities will be safer and stronger in the years to come,” said Rep. Adam Bowling. “We’re investing in crumbling infrastructure, so roads are safer and more accessible for everyone, and we’re increasing access to reliable, high-quality drinking water in underserved locations throughout our community. Building six new camper cabins at Kingdom Come State Park will also create greater opportunities for economic success.”

“Partnerships are key to successful projects. The funding announced today by Gov. Beshear for Kingdom Come State Park to construct camper cabins is the final piece of the puzzle to get this project moving forward. I’m extremely grateful to the Governor and Department of Parks Commissioner Russ Meyer for believing in this project to provide lodging options at Kentucky’s highest elevated state park,” said Harlan County Judge Executive Dan Mosley. “I’m also thankful to the Harlan County Fiscal Court, Cumberland Tourism, The Frazier Foundation and Friends of Kingdom Come State Park for the financial commitment of these organizations to establish the seed money to match this Land and Water Conservation grant to bring this highly anticipated project to fruition.”

“We are truly grateful to have the Governor coming to present the award grant for the park project,” said Cumberland Mayor Charles Raleigh. “This project will greatly help the park and the city in the future growth for our area. We look forward to future projects with the Governor’s help.”

About the Land & Water Conservation Fund The LWCF provides federal grant funds to protect important natural areas, acquire land for outdoor recreation and develop or renovate public outdoor recreation facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, playfields, swimming facilities, boating and fishing facilities, trails, natural areas and parks.

About the Cleaner Water Program Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, $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.

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