Congressman Rogers’ Request for Nearly $86 Million for Community Projects in Southern and Eastern Kentucky Gains Momentum
Jul 27 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers has requested $85.85 million in Community Project Funding for critical projects in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The funding will support 15 projects across Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District, including water and sewer service expansion, transportation improvements, investments in aerospace education and bolstering drug abuse prevention efforts. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic flood in East Kentucky on July 28 that took the lives of more than 40 individuals, Congressman Rogers included requests for a flood mitigation study along the Kentucky River and its three forks, as well as construction funds for housing in flooded counties.
“Our region was devastated by a historic flood last July, taking the lives of at least 44 Eastern Kentuckians, and wiping out homes, businesses, schools and major parts of our infrastructure. The flood’s path was unexpected, ravaging communities that have never experienced flooding before. That’s why I have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct an in-depth study as we search for ways to prevent a flood of this magnitude in the future,” said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the House and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “While we try to address the immense list of needs across Kentucky’s Appalachian region, these requests focus on essential needs, like water, sewer, and housing for individuals still in need of a home after the flood.”
Congressman Rogers submitted each request on behalf of local government leaders and eligible non-profit organizations that applied for fiscal year 2024 Community Project Funding.
“These earmarks provide an opportunity for our rural communities to advocate for their priority projects, as they work to address their most pressing issues. I applaud our local leaders for submitting competitive applications that will make our region a better place to live,” said Congressman Rogers. “The funding has a long way to go, but we have passed some major hurdles that are worth celebrating.”
Twelve of the 15 requests have been approved by the full House Appropriations Committee, with the remaining three expected to pass as the committee continues its work to finalize federal funding bills.
Congressman Rogers included the following Community Project Funding requests for Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District:
1. Kentucky River Flood Mitigation Study – $500,000 will enable the United States Army Corps of Engineers to investigate potential flood mitigation solutions along the Kentucky River and its watershed. East Kentucky experienced disastrous flooding in July 2022, which led to the loss of at least 44 lives, as well as the destruction of thousands of homes and businesses.
2. Somerset Northern Bypass – $45 million to construct the Somerset Northern Bypass from US27/LN 9008 Louie Nunn Cumberland Parkway Interchange to the KY 461/KY 80 Interchange in Pulaski County. The bypass will provide a vital artery for state and regional economic growth from western to eastern Kentucky. It will help provide a true east-west connector linking I-65 to I-75, facilitating greater economic access.
3. Operation UNITE – $2 million to enhance and expand prevention and treatment efforts through school-based drug prevention clubs and community anti-drug coalitions.
4. Eastern Kentucky PRIDE Septic System Program – $1 million to provide grants to install septic systems or connections to sewer lines for qualifying low-income homeowners who currently have a failing septic system or no wastewater treatment method.
5. City of Ashland Wastewater Treatment Plant – $4 million to provide for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in Ashland, Kentucky. This will upgrade and expand existing facilities in compliance with federal code, providing safe and reliable water services to thousands of customers.
6. Morehead Utility Plant Board Water System Improvements – $3 million to provide critical water system improvements in Morehead, Kentucky. This project would expand water treatment plant capacity, install a new raw water intake to meet demand, and provide system resiliency measures to ensure reliable service.
7. Morehead State University Space Tracking Stations – $9,953,000 for equipment to improve the Space Tracking Stations at Morehead State University to achieve higher data rates in support of future NASA programs, including the Near Space Network, Artemis, Gateway, and Moon to Mars programs. They will also provide communication, tracking, and navigation services to NASA, while enhancing the aerospace workforce pipeline in East Kentucky.
8. City of Cumberland Water System Improvements – $1 million to implement critical water system improvements. The project would also provide first-time city water service to some residents in Letcher County who live in the most difficult terrain for water infrastructure construction.
9. Southern Water and Sewer District Water System Improvements – $3 million to update and replace aging and outdated equipment at the water treatment plant and intake structure, to meet state and federal drinking water regulations. The water treatment plant and distribution system will supply clean and reliable drinking water to the communities of Allen, Eastern, Garrett, Langley, McDowell, Minnie, Wayland and Weeksbury, located in Floyd County.
10. Homes for Flood Victims – $3 million for the Housing Development Alliance, Inc. to construct new affordable homes for victims of the catastrophic 2022 flooding in East Kentucky. Housing remains the number one need for those impacted by this disaster. The homes will be sold at appraised value and financed for the home buyer through forgivable grants and loans.
11. City of Manchester Raw Water Pump Station – $1 million for construction of a new raw water pump station in the City of Manchester. Currently, the station is only working at 75% capacity and needs major repairs, which often impacts the community and its schools, hospital, and Manchester FCI. The additional capacity provided by this project will help maintain the needs of existing customers and provide for growth opportunities to their industrial park.
12. Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky – $650,000 to provide a new, comprehensive STEM education program based in Hazard, Kentucky, in collaboration with community partners and K-12 schools throughout Eastern Kentucky. The program will motivate and inspire young people to learn while exposing them to exciting STEM careers in growing industries, like healthcare, engineering, robotics and aerospace.
13. Martin County Water System Improvements – $5 million to help repair the aging and dilapidated water system in Martin County. The project includes the installation of nearly 50,000 linear feet of water distribution lines, and replacement of 240 residential meters and services lines. Martin County Water District has a long history of water outages, with the entire water system having a water loss of 72%. This project will help alleviate extended outages and supply residents with clean, reliable drinking water.
14. Wayne County High School Repurpose – $4 million to rehabilitate the former Wayne County High School building and repurpose it for a community center. The facility would be used for a farmers’ market, as well as afterschool activities for children, a community event venue, and a recreational area that will connect to walking paths at the nearby park.
15. Louisa Water Treatment Plant – $2,750,000 for replacement of an aging wastewater treatment plant that is reaching its operational capacity. The new plant would be built on property adjacent to the current location, moving it out of the floodplain and into compliance with state regulations.
For more information about Congressman Rogers’ work on the House Appropriations Committee and his efforts at home in Kentucky, visit halrogers.house.gov and follow him on social media.