Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman was received by an enthusiastic crowd at Lewisport’s Pell Administration Building Tuesday as she announced more then $390,000 in infrastructure funding for two local projects.
Coleman announced $320,325 to the City of Lewisport for water system booster station improvements and the addition of 2,900 feet of waterlines. The improvements will connect the city’s distribution system to East Daviess County Water System, providing valuable backup in the event of a system outage.
“Investments in infrastructure, like high-speed internet, clean water, roads and bridges, provide Kentucky a solid foundation for building tomorrow’s economy,” Coleman said. “These are not just investments for today, but also for a generation to come. “
In a release, the office of Governor Andy Beshear said the governor’s “Better Kentucky Plan” includes a priority on the Cleaner Water Program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. The administration appropriated $250 million through bipartisan support for clean drinking water and wasterwater treatment improvement in the 2021 General Assembly session.
Green River Area Development District worked with Lewisport to submit the project to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. The discretionary funding for the paving project came through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
“We often take for granted clean, safe drinking water,” Coleman said. “That is not the case for all Kentuckians. This administration is committed to assuring all Kentuckians have access to this vital resource.”
Lewisport Mayor Chad Gregory said he is proud of the hard work the water department puts in every day, and that their commitment is demonstrated in customer satisfaction and recognition by peers statewide.
“We are proud to have been awarded the best-tasting rural water in the state,” Gregory said. “The city believes in serving our citizens, and are grateful our project is receiving these needed for funds for improvements.”
The city’s water system has been recognized several times for the quality of its drinking water.
Judge/Executive Johnny “Chic” Roberts said the funding for Thomas Road is important for Hancock County, and he expressed further gratitude for the administration’s commitment to seeing House Bill 315 move through the General Assembly this recent session.
The bill streamlines the process for rural electric cooperatives to get into the business of providing high-speed internet service within their particular service areas.
“High-speed internet has been a priority for Hancock County for a long time,” Roberts said. “The governor’s office is committed to expanding service all across our state. We made several calls seeking support, and got that support to see the bill all the way through. It’s a big deal for rural Kentucky.”
In follow up questions, Coleman said the administration is proud to have secured increases pay for existing social workers on the mission to investigate child abuse in the state, as well as funding to increase the number of social workers.
Kentucky is currently fifth in the nation in per capita child abuse reports.
“We would not accept being 45th in basketball, so why accept being 45th in child abuse prevention,” she said. “This administration saw a need for better funding in our child protection efforts, and we remain focused on making improvements every single day. Kentucky children deserve that much from us.”
Coleman said ongoing focus for the administration includes building on recent economic development success, and assisting the affected communities in west and southern Kentucky in the recovery from destructive tornados this past winter.
“The governor has seen the destruction, and knows the struggles of those communities,” Coleman said. “There are resources pouring into the state to aid those recovering and rebuilding, and state government will keep pushing forward until people are back on their feet and have what they need.”
By C. Josh Givens