Wednesday, 07 24, 2013
TOMPKINSVILLE, Ky.– Governor Steve Beshear today joined state and local leaders to announce more than $1.6 million for sewer rehabilitation projects in the cities of Tompkinsville and Gamaliel in Monroe County. The projects will eliminate health and environmental risks caused by the county’s currently dilapidated sewer systems.
“Effective, modern infrastructure is an imperative foundation for economic development and housing growth in rural Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “This sewer rehabilitation project will provide Monroe County citizens and businesses with safe, reliable access to a modern water system.”
Funding for these projects includes a $660,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the city of Gamaliel, as well as a$500,000 Disaster Recovery fund grantand a $500,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to the city of Tompkinsville. The city of Gamaliel also received a $350,000 federal grant from USDA Rural Development.
Tompkinsville and Gamaliel’s sanitary systems are both decades old and deteriorating rapidly. The Kentucky Division of Water has served several notices of violation to both communities for creating unsafe and inconvenient conditions for residents as a result of the faulty sewer system.
In Tompkinsville, the system regularly suffers from pump station failures, line blockages and manhole overflows that result in blocked roads and raw sewage being dumped into Town Creek and Curtis Branch.
In Gamaliel, the system has sewage overflows, broken lines, standing sewage, odors and sewage backup into buildings. Some residents have been unable to wash clothes and dishes, and pumper trucks have needed to visit homes and businesses to pump sewage out by hand before hauling it away.
The new sewer rehabilitation projects will drastically improve service to nearly 1,200 residents in Monroe County.
The Tompkinsville project will include renovating a lift station, rebuilding or replacing 2,600 feet of 8-inch line and installing 6,900 feet of 8-inch gravity line to replace two lift stations that will be removed. The Gamaliel project will include installing 52 new grinder pumps, installing an ultraviolet disinfection system and rebuilding the oxidation ditch treatment plant.
“I am very pleased that funding is now in place to move forward on these critical sewer and wastewater improvements,” said Sen. Sara Beth Gregory. “Proper infrastructure is absolutely necessary to promote growth and economic development, and I appreciate the efforts of local, state, and federal officials who worked together to bring these improvements to Monroe County.”
“These funds are greatly needed to ensure Tompkinsville and Gamaliel’s sewer infrastructure may be adequately restored,” said Rep. Bart Rowland. “Every community deserves safe access to water, and as a citizen of Monroe County myself, I am thankful for the Governor’s leadership on this project’s announcement.”
“I would like to thank Gov. Beshear for understanding the necessity and importance of maintaining good infrastructure in small rural counties of Kentucky,” said Monroe County Judge Executive Tommy Willett. “We have 1200 Monroe County residents that will be affected by the upgrades in our sewer system. We are elated to have the opportunity to make the cities of Tompkinsville and Gamaliel healthier and safer.”
“This is definitely a joyous day for our county and the cities of Tompkinsville and Gamaliel,” said Tompkinsville Mayor John Proffitt. “To receive $1.6 million for much needed sewer rehabilitation in both communities is crucial to solving infiltration and inflow problems, failing lift stations, and replacing clay tile collection lines. A huge thanks goes out to Gov. Beshear, Commissioner Wilder, the staff at the Department for Local Government, and others who helped in securing this funding to improve the water quality and overall health conditions for our county.”
“The overflow of raw sewage unnecessarily exposes citizens to contaminated water supplies and pollutes the surrounding environment,” said Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder. “The construction of new sewer lines and pump stations are essential to protecting the health of area residents, alleviating future environmental damage and making Monroe County overall a safer place to live.”
The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.
Established in 1965, ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in an effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that range from education and job training to housing and business expansion to transportation and infrastructure development.