Rogers, McConnell announce $2 million for water, wastewater projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three Eastern Kentucky communities will receive a combined $2 million to support improvements for water and sewer systems.

The money was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was announced Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers.

Elkhorn City will receive $457,500 to construct a new, 200,000-gallon water storage tank, while the Troublesome Creek Environmental Authority will receive $467,500 to extend wastewater collection to 159 homes along Route 80.

“The majority of Elkhorn City’s 569 water customers are served by a single water tank located on Stillhouse Avenue,” said David Sanders, city engineer for Elkhorn City. “Due to the aged condition of the tank, our customers will be better served by replacing the tank instead of doing a major rehabilitation of the existing tank. Additionally, the city customers in higher elevations of the city occasionally have water pressure problems that will be alleviated by the placement of the new tank. The new tank will provide consistent water service to our community for many years in the future.”

“I want to extend my thanks to the Troublesome Creek Environmental Authority board, Kentucky River Area Development District staff, Knott County Judge Executive Jeff Dobson and Perry County Judge Executive Scott Alexander for working together to provide these services to the people of Knott and Perry County,” TCEA board chair Don Gibson said. “Also, a special thanks to Congressman Hal Rogers and his staff for their continued support.”
Finally, the city of Hazard is receiving more than $1 million to build a raw water intake in the tailwater channel of Buckhorn Dam.

“This is the first of many steps needed to get clean drinking water where its needed the most,” Hazard Mayor Donald “Happy” Mobelini said. “Building a new water intake in Buckhorn will pave the way for a new water treatment plant that will not only be able to serve the Buckhorn and Chavies communities, but also the Coalfields Regional Industrial Park and neighboring counties.”

The money comes from a federal program Rogers established in the Water Resources Development Act of 1996.

“We are doing a lot of things right in Eastern Kentucky, by comprehensively investing in every aspect of our communities,” Rogers said. “We can’t invest in better health care, agriculture and job creation activities, without also investing in clean water and reliable wastewater projects – they work in tandem with one another. These project awards will go a long way to shore up those infrastructure needs in Perry, Knott and Pike counties.”

“With today’s announcement, Eastern Kentucky residents will receive critical funding for important water infrastructure improvements, helping to promote much-needed economic development in their region,” McConnell said. “I was proud to secure an increase to this program’s authorization limit through the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 to provide these types of resources to communities across Kentucky. My friend Rep. Hal Rogers established this constructive program and together, we will continue to fight for Eastern Kentucky and work to ensure all its residents are provided with clean, accessible water and sewer services.”