U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced in a statement May 20 he has requested nearly $54 million for 15 community projects in southern and Eastern Kentucky in fiscal year 2023 to revitalize the region. The earmark requests include medical training, flood control, expanding access to clean water and reliable sewer systems, roadway construction, bolstering substance abuse recovery and prevention efforts, and creating new economic development opportunities.
“It is too early to know if these projects will make it to the finish line, but I’m proud to have these 15 competitive projects in the race for federal funding and I will be advocating for each one throughout the year as we continue the appropriations process for 2023,” said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives. “These new Community Project Funding opportunities allow Members of Congress to streamline funding and jump-start dream projects in communities where assistance is needed the most. This year, several of our communities requested assistance with water system upgrades, so $22.7 million is dedicated to improving water across six counties, making up nearly half of the earmark requests.”
As a former chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Rogers included the following Community Project Funding Requests for Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District:
• $1.4 million for Operation UNITE to enhance prevention and treatment efforts across Kentucky’s Appalachian region, including key partnerships with schools and community coalitions.
• $2.5 million for the Eastern Kentucky PRIDE Septic System Program to provide grants for new septic systems in households across Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District that remain under the 55% Housing and Urban Development poverty guideline.
• $800,000 for a continued Flood Control Study in Beattyville, allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue investigating solutions to prevent future devastating floods in Beattyville, Kentucky.
• $3.5 million for the Morehead State University Medical Training Complex. The funding would replace and upgrade equipment and laboratory space for nursing, imaging science, kinesiology, and pre-physical therapy programs. Maintaining a pipeline of well-trained healthcare workers is essential for central Appalachia where healthcare jobs are important for the economic well-being of the region and to ensure healthcare providers have the necessary staff to provide care for a population with high rates of chronic disease.
• $3 million for Letcher County Water and Sewer District water system improvements. The project would help expand water service to more than 2,000 residents in Letcher County, while also alleviating water problems in southern Perry County.
• $3.9 million to construct a new Pikeville Medical Center Healthcare Vocational Complex, which will provide healthcare training opportunities in Eastern Kentucky. The new facility will provide training and continuing education in fields such as radiology, laboratory, respiratory therapy, nursing, pharmacy, and surgery. The development of this complex aims to address the well-documented shortage of skilled healthcare workers in central Appalachia.
• $7 million for roadway improvements and rockfall mitigation in Pike County. The funding would be used by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for reconstruction of Ky. 1426 from Bill King Road to U.S. 119 to eliminate rockfall hazards and improve public safety.
• $8.1 million for reconstruction of U.S. 25 from Ky. 461 to I-75 at Exit 62 in Mount Vernon. The project includes widening the number of driving lanes and implementing access management strategies along the roadway.
• $6.3 million for water system improvements in Prestonsburg. The funding will be used to enhance the current water system and provide reliable water to underserved customers. The project will also improve sewage collection and treatment capacity.
• $2.5 million to construct a new Buckhorn Water Treatment Plant and install new transmission lines to better serve the people of Perry County, including 1,200 homes and 35 businesses.
• $3.1 million to improve the sewer system in Martin County, including a comprehensive plan to upgrade the Inez sewer plant and expand service to approximately 100 households and small businesses.
• $1.5 million to renovate Jackson County’s former jail into a new business incubator in downtown McKee, Kentucky. Funding will be used to rehabilitate and repurpose the former jail with an additional plaza for small start-up businesses and community engagement.
• $2.5 million for the Raven Rock Trails Development project in Letcher County. The funding will help develop hiking and biking trails across more than 800 acres of land between the City of Jenkins and the Virginia border. The project will preserve our land, increase connectivity, and boost tourism in our Appalachian region.
• $2.2 million for improvement to the water system in Knox County. The funding will be used to replace nearly 60,000 feet of deteriorating water lines, reducing maintenance costs, and improving water safety and quality for local families and businesses.
• $5.5 million for water improvements in the City of Williamsburg. The funding will be used to replace approximately 18,000 feet of deteriorating water lines, providing much needed system upgrades and reliability in the downtown area and across the distribution system.
Community Project Funding requests from across the country will be reviewed by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees and relative subcommittees, the statement said.. There is no guarantee that the projects will be funded. However, as a senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Rogers has a strong reputation for shepherding rural Kentucky projects through the complex federal funding process.