Beshear, Rogers announce $14.2 million in AML grants for Eastern Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. — More than $5.5 million in funding for water systems in Floyd and Perry counties was among a list of projects announced Monday by Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers.

The two leaders held a press conference in the state Capitol rotunda to announced $14.2 million in Abandoned Mine Lands pilot project funding.

“Gov. Beshear and I are proud to announce $14.2 million for six projects in five counties, including Harlan, Floyd, Laurel, Morgan and Perry counties,” Rogers said. “The $14.2 million, part of the Abandoned Mine Lands pilot program that I earmarked — and yes, I’ll use that word.”

“The AML pilot program is a key component to building a stronger, better Eastern Kentucky, that I know its residents have been waiting on for far, far too long,” Beshear said. “An Eastern Kentucky with diverse opportunities for a variety of skills and interests that attract not just jobs, but good-paying jobs. The type of jobs you can raise your family on and the type of jobs that you kids stay in the region because of the hope and opportunity that they offer.”

Included among those projects was more than $2 million to construct a new water treatment plant for Wheelwright.

“The new water system not only will provide a safe and secure source of water for residents of Wheelwright, but will enhance our economic development efforts in the county,” Floyd County Judge-Executive Robert Williams said. “The recently reopened Southeastern Correction Facility in Wheelwright is a great example of the opportunities that come along with sustainable infrastructure.”

Another $3.5 million will go to improve the water systems along Route 7 and Route 15 in Perry County.

BPM Lumber in Laurel County will receive nearly $3.8 million to purchase and install and optimized merchandising system, which will allow the company to sustain 123 jobs and re-employ 62 staff members in London and Whitesburg who had been previously laid off due to the pandemic.

Other grants include $3 million to provide advanced manufacturing robotics training to inmates at the East Kentucky Correctional Complex in West Liberty, $1.5 million to provide natural gas service to the Harlan County Business Park, and $400,000 to open a motorsports welcome center in Lynch.