WEST LIBERTY, Ky. -- The Morgan County Water District will soon be able to update deteriorating waterlines, thanks to a dual investment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Development (USDA-RD). During a community meeting today at the Morgan County Public Library, Congressman Hal Rogers announced a $1.5 million loan and a $85,000 grant from USDA-RD to rehabilitate the water infrastructure in West Liberty that was installed in the 1970s.
"This grant gets us a step ahead, preventing water outages and ensuring that people of West Liberty have clean water in their homes and businesses. It also allows us to let prospective businesses know that we have reliable water resources in Morgan County," said Congressman Rogers. "Despite its name, USDA invests in far more than Agriculture – they have an entire division dedicated to our needs in Rural America – and one of our greatest needs is improving and expanding access to clean water in Eastern Kentucky."
“Safe, dependable sources of water are paramount to communities and businesses thriving," said Hilda Legg, State Director for USDA-Rural Development. "Water and wastewater projects may not be the most glamorous, but they are obviously critical to quality of life and economic development in rural communities. Reducing water loss from a system conserves a precious resource while also improving the system’s bottom dollar.”
This Rural Development investment will be used to replace approximately six miles of aged and deteriorating waterlines, replace approximately 300 water meters, and rehabilitate a duplex pump station in order to eliminate line breaks and loss of water. This project will help alleviate a potential public health hazard from contamination and provide a safe and dependable water supply for customers in rural Morgan County, one of Kentucky's persistent poverty counties.
“Our water infrastructure is not only vital for serving our families and businesses today, but it is key to future economic development in Morgan County,” said John Will Stacy, Morgan County Judge Executive. “Our water lines are over 40 years old now, and this funding will ensure that we can replace, repair and strengthen our water system for the people of Morgan County.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission recently announced $800,000 for this project as well, ensuring this water project can move forward quickly.
During the event, Congressman Rogers presented Community Leadership Awards to Sally Barker, former City Clerk, and Joleen Frederick, former City Attorney, in recognition of their long-time service to the City of West Liberty. Both ladies recently retired after dedicating more than 50 years of combined public service.