Eastern Ky. projects get boost with $9.8 million in abandoned mine program funds

Published 11:04 am Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program funds worth $9.8 million have been awarded for economic development projects in 10 eastern Kentucky counties, Gov. Andy Beshear and 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers said on Monday.

“When completed, these projects will help support local communities and spur economic growth,” said Gov. Beshear.

“This program has a proven record of creating jobs in eastern Kentucky, and these grants are another solid building block to help us build a better Kentucky for all of our families.”

Rogers, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, championed $665 million in federal funding for the AMLER Program since 2016, of which $140 million has been awarded to Kentucky.

“This grant program is creating jobs, advancing vital community projects, and restoring hope in Eastern Kentucky. I am proud of what we have accomplished through these grants thus far and the ongoing work to meet the needs of our people,” said Congressman Rogers. “This program is a great example of how federal, state, and local governments can work together to invest in projects that greatly benefit our communities across Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

Seventy applications were received, with the ten selected by Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. They are:
• Cold Storage LLC was awarded $2.5 million for construction of an agriculture cold storage facility in Martin County in which an underutilized existing spec building will be converted into a refrigerated commercial facility allowing apples to be stored up to a year after picking.

• Cowan Community Action Group Inc. was awarded $1 million to equip the Farmers Market Pavilion with cold storage, commercial equipment, restrooms, an office, and stage, and to expand the Cowan foodservice kitchen as well as equip a food truck.

• Appalachian Regional Healthcare was awarded $750,000 to equip the Highlands ARH Medical Center in Prestonsburg with a diagnostic CT scanner and mammogram equipment.

• Leslie County Fiscal Court was awarded $1 million to expand the Leslie County Recreational Facility by constructing a camping complex with 114 picnic tables, stationary grills, and fire pit rings. Almost 70 RV pads will be constructed, as well as a 40,000-square-foot entertainment pavilion that will include an event stage, roadway, and parking.

• The City of Booneville was awarded $600,000 for the construction of cabins to allow for overnight accommodations at the Sag Hollow Golf Club.

•KCEOC Community Action Partnership Inc. was awarded $750,000 to purchase an existing 20,000-square-foot building on 10 acres in Knox County for a diesel mechanics shop and CDL test site. KCEOC will lease the facility to Southern Kentucky Community and Technical College, which will operate the training facility.

• The City of Ashland was awarded $1 million to engineer and design a parking garage and convention center in downtown Ashland.

• Pike County Fiscal Court was awarded $700,000 to install 3,000 feet of electric lines at the Wolfpit Industrial & Technology Park.

• The Knott County Water District was awarded $600,000 for the purchase of two backup generators for the system that produces water for three counties, servicing 7,000 citizens.

• Hazard Community & Technical College was awarded $280,000 for equipment purchases for the expansion of its successful lineman training program.

AMLER grants are available for projects in 54 Appalachian counties in Kentucky with historic coal mining sites that have the potential to create long-term economic benefits.