Gov. Beshear Visits Counties Eligible for Federal Aid After Severe Storms, Floods

Editor’s Note: In a previous release, Marion County was incorrectly listed as one of nine counties included in the Major Disaster Declaration; Martin County is included and should have been listed instead.

Governor also awards transportation funds, announces sales tax relief for property owners in affected counties

EASTERN KENTUCKY (April 29, 2021) — Today, Gov. Andy Beshear visited Floyd, Magoffin and Breathitt counties after all were affected by severe storms, flooding and mudslides Feb. 27–March 14 to encourage individuals and business owners to apply for federal recovery aid.

The Governor also awarded transportation funding in all three counties and announced sales tax relief for property owners in nine counties impacted by severe weather.

The Governor was joined by his senior advisor, Rocky Adkins, Kentucky Emergency Management officials, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives and local officials at each location.

“This is what governance is about: Showing up for our people with solutions. It’s what Kentuckians expect, and it’s what we are working toward every day,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thank you to our partners, both local and federal, for helping us rebound from these devastating storms and floods as we build the better Kentucky we want for all of our families.”

Following Gov. Beshear’s request, President Biden granted a Major Disaster Declaration for the Commonwealth of Kentucky on Friday, April 23, which made aid available for residents of nine counties: Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Martin and Powell. To learn more about how individuals and business owners can apply, see the full release.

Yesterday, the Governor requested that FEMA add 26 more counties to the declaration. FEMA will determine each additional county’s eligibility to participate over the next several weeks. To learn more, see the full release.

Residents with additional reports of flood damage should contact their local county emergency management agency.

Sales Tax Relief for Property Owners in Federal Disaster Declaration Counties
The Governor said as a result of the Major Disaster Declaration, Kentuckians in the included counties may also be eligible for state disaster relief in the form of sales tax refunds on purchases of building materials, up to $6,000 per building. The materials must be used to permanently repair or replace building structures.

To learn more about how to apply for a sales tax refund, visit the Department of Revenue’s website. Individuals in need of more personalized assistance may call 502-564-5170 and select Option 1 to speak to a member of the Revenue staff.

Gov. Beshear Awards Transportation Funding
Floyd County School Safety Project Near Prestonsburg Elementary
In Floyd County, the Governor awarded $200,000 for design and construction of an extended turn lane and an “R-cut” – Restricted Crossing U-Turn – on Kentucky Highway 114 at Prestonsburg Elementary School. An R-cut is an intersection design that eliminates the need for making a left turn against traffic. Instead, traffic flows a little farther downstream and then executes a legal U-turn.

“Our experience in many locations around Kentucky has been that crash rates go down when left turns against traffic are eliminated,” Gov. Beshear said. “And that change doesn’t just prevent any type of crash, but T-bone crashes in particular, which are often especially dangerous. There’s no more important place to improve safety than near our schools, so we can protect our kids, educators and staff.”

Floyd County Road Resurfacing
Gov. Beshear also presented $361,000 in transportation funding to the Floyd County Fiscal Court for badly needed resurfacing on four county roads (CR 1617, Emma Road; CR 1018, Happy Hollow Road; CR 1945, Mud Lick Branch; and CR 1169, Henpen Branch Road). The projects will total about 3.5 miles in length, allowing easier and more efficient travel for many Floyd County residents. This funding is administered by the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Magoffin County Road Resurfacing
The Governor awarded $761,257 in transportation funding to the Magoffin County Fiscal Court for critical resurfacing on a dozen different sections of county roads. Altogether the projects total 8.7 miles of new surfacing to make for easier and more efficient travel.

The projects will be along 12 sections of nine different county routes: County Road 1174 (Willow Drive, Front Street, Tommy Dyer Street and Charlie Prater Street); CR 1144 (Scranton Road); CR 1251 (West Puncheon Creek Road); CR 1110 (Big Lick Road); CR 1035 (Painters Creek Road); CR 1227 (John Howard Road); CR 1169 (Jim Arnett Branch); and CR 1368 (Holderby Branch Road).

Breathitt County Road Resurfacing
In Breathitt County, the Governor awarded $356,021 of transportation funding to the Breathitt County Fiscal Court for badly needed resurfacing on two county routes – Barwick Road and Watts Road. The two projects combined add up to 3.5 miles of new surfacing to make for easier and more efficient travel in areas where there have been many complaints. The funding is administered by the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Breathitt County School Safety Project
Also in Breathitt County, the Governor awarded $140,000 to make safety improvements at the intersection of Kentucky Highways 15 and 476, which is near two schools – Marie Roberts-Caney Elementary School and Riverside Christian School. KYTC engineers plan to explore a number of possible improvements, which could include improved signage, pavement striping, rebuilt or updated school beacons and guardrail work.

To learn more about Gov. Beshear’s $23 million investment in school highway safety projects, see the full release.