Gov. Beshear Awards $2.7 Million to Estill, Garrard and Madison Counties for Water and Sewer Improvements

Governor also presents funding for road resurfacing, food pantry distribution center

BEREA, RICHMOND, Ky. (Feb. 14, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear awarded $2,754,002 to two cities and five water utilities in Estill, Garrard and Madison counties. The funding, from the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program, will deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems. The program is estimated to create approximately 3,800 jobs across the state.

“Providing modern, efficient wastewater systems and clean water will be essential as we build a better Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “These projects will encourage business and residential development and provide our utilities with the tools they need to support their growing customer needs.”

“Gov. Beshear, thank you, because not only us, but the generation to come, will benefit from your generosity,” said Estill County Judge/Executive Donnie Watson.

In Berea, the Governor also presented a ceremonial check for $160,982 to Madison County representing Kentucky Transportation Cabinet projects to resurface portions of four roads: Griggs Road ($64,290); Newby Road ($57,672); Old Daniel Boone Road ($24,581); and Cruse Lane ($14,439). He also presented an $189,000 ceremonial check to Garrard County representing a KYTC project to resurface portions of Drakes Creek Road.

In Richmond, Gov. Beshear also presented $1 million to Madison County for the God’s Outreach Food Pantry Distribution Center project. The project includes the acquisition of a property at 950 Four Mile Ave., Richmond, Kentucky, where God’s Outreach will construct a 5,000+ square-foot food and commodity distribution center to serve as central hub for their mobile food pantries. The mobile food pantries serve approxiatmely 1,600 families in the surrounding counties of Estill, Jackson and Lee.

Cleaner Water Program Projects
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million was appropriated at the close of the 2021 General Assembly through a bi-partisan agreement for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky.

“Sound infrastructure is key to a strong, healthy community,” said Sen. Jared Carpenter, whose district includes Madison County. “I want to thank Madison, Garrard and Estill counties for their continued efforts in providing reliable, clean water sources to the residents of these counties.”

The Bluegrass Area Development District submitted funding requests for the projects to the KIA. These include wastewater treatment plant improvements, the replacement of aged waterlines and the installation of new technology. Examples include:

The Madison County Utilities District will use $608,105 to replace 24,800 feet of deteriorating water line, construct a new pump station and a new water tank at Waco and refurbish the water tank at College Hill. The upgrades will improve efficiency, water capacity and provide a more reliable potable water supply.

“The Cleaner Water Program will help give people in Madison County safe and clean drinking water,” said Rep. Deanna Frazier Gordon, who represents part of Madison County. “It is extremely important for my constituents and those across the state to have clean water and this is exactly what this program will be doing. I supported SB 36, which included ARPA funds with the hopes of the money going to a program just like this one.”

“Today Madison County is receiving essential funds to improve its water systems,” said Rep. Timmy Truett, whose district includes part of Madison County. “The Cleaner Water Program is a grant program that will help improve critical infrastructure like the drinking water and wastewater systems across the county and state. I am proud to be part of a legislature that works to improve the lives of those across the commonwealth.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the investment the Commonwealth of Kentucky is making in our infrastructure to continue to build a better Madison County,” said Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor. “Our goal is always to find opportunities to fund much needed projects without using local tax dollars. Investments like these are going to enhance our county and local economy. This funding will have an economic development impact and only continue to give us the ability to grow and recruit industry, create more jobs and provide greater benefits to our citizens. Madison County has a proud past and a really promising future.”

The Irvine Municipal Utilities Commission, working with Estill County Water District No. 1, will utilize $518,058 to replace and relocate an old water main located between the CSX railroad and the Kentucky River. The transfer of the line to the west side of the river will provide easier access and remove the line from the CSX right-of-way.

“The Cleaner Water Program ensures that clean water and safe waste water systems are being improved,” said Rep. Bill Wesley, whose district includes Estill County and part of Madison County. “The improvements on Kentucky’s critical infrastructure will help ease the minds of those in Estill and Madison counties. I am proud to have been part of a legislature that voted for SB 36 which included the funding for this program. We received relief funds last year from the federal government and the legislature made the decision to include in it in the budget, so that a program like this one could be created and fully funded.”

“Gov. Beshear, I want to thank you for the way you have helped Estill County during your administration,” said Estill County Judge/Executive Donnie Watson. “Your announcement today will help keep water and sewer rates down within Irvine, Ravenna and throughout all Estill County served directly by Irvine Municipal Utilities and/or Water District No. 1. Your announcement will also assure that all customers south of the Kentucky River are never without water due to a catastrophic failure of an aging water line. This infrastructure improvement will also allow the further development of the Steam Heritage Property as a tourist attraction for Irvine, Ravenna and Estill County.”

The City of Lancaster in Garrard County will receive $548,802 to construct an additional sewer line and a new wastewater pumping station. The project will replace two aging, overloaded lift stations (Buckeye Pump Station and Hill Court Pump Station).

The Garrard County Sanitation District will receive $50,000 to provide sanitary sewer service to 40 residential customers and businesses in the Paint Lick community.

“Madison and Garrard County are receiving necessary funds to improve the water systems and make certain that everyone has access to clean water,” said Rep. Josh Bray, whose district includes Garrard County and part of Madison County. “The Cleaner Water Program is the direct result of the funding the legislature voted for in SB 36. When the legislature allocated this funding we were hoping a project like the Cleaner Water Program would come from it, and I am happy to see that the funding is used to improve critical infrastructure and improve the lives of Kentuckians.”

A full list of awarded projects for the City of Berea, Madison County Utilities District, Southern Madison Water District, Kirksville Water Association, Irvine Municipal Utilities Commission, City of Lancaster and the Garrard County Sanitation District can be found here.

“The City of Berea and Berea Municipal Utilities is very pleased to receive a cleaner water grant from Gov. Beshear today,” said Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley. “For the past several years, our city has been designing infrastructure improvements at our primary municipal water source, Owsley Fork Reservoir, and this funding will help us ensure that we are able to fund all of the improvements needed to maintain the high quality of our water. We hope to go into the construction phase with the infrastructure upgrades later this year, so this grant could not have come at a better time.”

About the Cleaner Water Program
More than $106 million has been awarded to grantees to fund transformative projects since the call for projects was announced June 1. Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, collaborated with their local Area Development Districts and Area Water Management Councils to submit projects for Cleaner Water Program funding. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.

Cleaner Water program funding is allocated in three ways:

  • $150 million based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act. A list of the allocations by county can be found here.
  • $50 million is available for utilities to provide drinking water services to unserved, rural customers or to utilities under a federal consent decree. The KIA shall consider social, economic and environmental benefits in determining the allocations.
  • $49.9 million is available to supplement a project grant for a project with a cost in excess of a county’s allocation amount and other available grant sources. The social, economic and environmental benefits shall be considered in determining project allocations. KIA will receive $75,000 to administer the grant program.

The application deadline was Nov. 19, 2021; however, KIA will make awards continuously throughout the year. All grant awardees must obligate the funds by Dec. 31, 2024.

The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.

Information about the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at