$2 million in grants awarded to two eastern Kentucky communities


Officials speak at a press conference in Pikeville, KY where Gov. Andy Beshear annoucned more than $2 million in grant funding for two eastern KY communities. Mar. 2 2020 (WOWK 13 News Staff Photo)

PIKEVILLE, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, the Department for Local Government and the Transportation Cabinet announced more than $2 million in grants for projects awarded to the cities of Pikeville and Whitesburg.

The City of Pikeville has been awarded a $500,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant for project Health Care Employment Around Resource Training, according to a press release from the governor’s office. The funds will equip a 10,304 square foot facility at Pikeville Medical center.

“On behalf of Pikeville Medical Center, the Board of Directors, physicians and staff, I want to thank Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers for supporting this collaborative effort between the City of Pikeville and Pikeville Medical Center,” said Pikeville Medical Center CEO Donovan Blackburn. “With the Appalachian Regional Commission grant, Project HEART will create a stronger regional workforce and attack the nursing shortage. This funding will provide a facility equipped for classroom instruction and clinical training with the goal of graduating more nurses, building a better community and boosting economic growth.”

“The City of Pikeville is committed to enriching the lives of its citizens and fostering economic growth for the region,” said Pikeville Mayor James Carter. “Project HEART supports this mission and is an important element in growing the health care sector of our economy. We are proud to partner with Pikeville Medical Center on this new venture and extend our gratitude to Gov. Andy Beshear and Congressman Hall Rogers for supporting Eastern Kentucky and opening up new opportunities for our people.”

Beshear also announced four grants totaling more than $1.5 million for the City of Whitesburg and Letcher County Fiscal Court. The grants include:

  • A $101, 239 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to transform the city’s pool into a splash park,
  • A $1.3 million ARC Grant for the Whitesburg Waterline Replacement and Water Tank Rehab Project to replace 14,500 linear feet of a main water line and repair the Sawmill Road water tank
  • A $193,318 LWCF grant for the Fishpond Park Revitalization Project, which will be used to construct a bath house, fire pits, a new grilling station, additional playground equipment and new signage as well as to update other park infrastructure.
  • $42,000 in County Road Aid emergency funds for critical flood damage repairs on Bridge Loop (CR 1613)

“We are honored to have Gov. Beshear in Whitesburg for these announcements,” Whitesburg Mayor James Craft said. “We are very pleased with these projects and the benefits they will bring to our community. It’s great to do things for our kids and we can’t wait for them to enjoy the new splash park.”

“This money will go a long way toward upgrading our local parks, so I want to thank Gov. Beshear for coming here to announce this grant, and I really appreciate the work done by the Department for Local Government and Letcher County Fiscal Court,” Rep. Angie Hatton said.

Beshear made the announcement on a multi-stop trip through Eastern Kentucky to discuss key issues affecting Kentucky families such as education and health care, according to the press release.

At a stop in Prestonsburg, Beshear talked about his “education first” budget proposal which would include a $400 million increase in education spending in the next two years, which would include a one-time $2,000 raise for teachers, increases per pupil in funding at schools across the state and increased funding for higher education.

The governor also said his budget proposal would fully find Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, dedicate $2 million to the KCHIP enrolment program, and include $100 million for rural road improvements.

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