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Gov. Beshear announces $19.4M to clean drinking water projects, improved sewer systems in NKY - Energy And Water Development Corp

Gov. Beshear announces $19.4M to clean drinking water projects, improved sewer systems in NKY

Gov. Andy Beshear announced more than $19.4 million to one county and three water utilities serving Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties in multiple stops in NKY Tuesday.

The funding is part of the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaner Water Program to deliver clean drinking water and improved sewer and water systems around the state, creating an estimated 3,800 jobs statewide.

Gov. Steve Beshear

“Our Northern Kentucky region is a hub for economic growth,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re proud to work with each of you to address needed infrastructure improvements that will bring safer, more reliable sanitary sewer services and clean, healthy drinking water to thousands of residents and area businesses.”

The Northern Kentucky Area Development District submitted funding requests for 10 Cleaner Water Program projects to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. These include wastewater treatment plant improvements, the replacement of aging waterlines, and the installation of new technology.

Campbell County grants

The Governor awarded a $999,352 Community Development Block Grant to the City of Newport to support its Homeownership Development Housing Project. The city and its partner, nonprofit Newport Millennium Housing Corporation, will use the funds to build five new single-family homes and rehabilitate two vacant homes in the community. The new homes will be made available to qualifying low-to moderate-income households. The city will also offer qualified households a forgivable, 10-year, $20,000 loan.

In Campbell County, the Governor presented $1 million to the Northern Kentucky Water District to help replace water mains throughout much of downtown Newport, improving service for families and businesses, including at the Ovation development downtown.

“The Northern Kentucky Water District extends a sincere thank you to Governor Beshear and the General Assembly for making such an important investment in the Northern Kentucky community with two Cleaner Water Grants that will positively impact both Kenton and Campbell counties,” said Ron Lovan, President/CEO of the Northern Kentucky Water District.

Also in Campbell County, Sanitation District #1 of Northern Kentucky received $3,786,970 to invest in sewer improvements along US-27 and the AA Highway. The project will increase the capacity of both the Centerplex Pump Station and the Cold Springs Crossing Pump Station and will redirect flows from Wolpert Pump Station to the Eastern Regional water reclamation facility. Increasing capacity in this area will fuel economic growth and will reduce overflows that occur along Industrial Road and KY-8 in the Highland Heights/Silver Grove area.

“SD1 is proud to receive funding through Kentucky’s Cleaner Water Program for important sewer improvement projects across our region,” said Adam Chaney, SD1 executive director.

“The funds will be used to advance projects that will protect public health, property and the environment and support the economic vitality of our community,” said Adam Chaney, SD1 executive director. “Without a coordinated, comprehensive approach to project prioritization across our region, these awards would not have been possible.”

Sen. Wil Schroder, whose district includes Campbell County, said “Seeing local real-world benefits is rewarding and shows we did the right thing on behalf of Kentucky residents. There was bipartisan agreement among co-equal branches of government to allocate funding toward needs like this.”

“Most of us don’t think much about water service,” said Rep. Rachel Roberts, who represents part of Campbell County. “These particular infrastructure projects will replace lines prone to breaking while reducing water leakage and increasing capacity and flow. This will also contribute to better fire suppression and safety for future projects along our riverfront, from Newport to Silver Grove and up into Highland Heights.”

Rep. Joe Fischer agreed. “While the legislature has had a plate full of priorities, we have managed to keep funding for infrastructure improvements such as the Cleaner Water Project on the main stage,” said Fischer, who represents the 68th House District in Campbell County.

“The federal relief funds will create generational impacts for not only my district, but also for constituents around the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Kim Moser, who represents portions of both Campbell and Kenton counties.

Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery said, “When the KIA announced the call for projects we submitted several opportunities that would benefit the environment, replace aging infrastructure, provide for economic growth and serve our unserved residents. Replacing aging water mains in Newport and increasing sewer capacity in the US 27/AA Highway corridor are big wins for our county.”

Kenton County projects

For a project in Kenton County, the Northern Kentucky Water District was awarded $1 million to continue improvements at two treatment plants. Aging equipment essential for treating and supplying water to the district’s customers will be replaced at the Fort Thomas treatment plant. The Taylor Mill treatment plant and pumping station will use the funding to provide an emergency backup power source in the event of an electrical outage. These improvements will impact nearly 300,000 people in the Northern Kentucky region.

The Sanitation District #1 of Northern Kentucky was awarded $5,133,176 to extend sewer service and eliminate failing septic systems in three residential neighborhoods in Kenton County.

Sen. Damon Thayer whose district includes part of Kenton County noted that “one-time investments to bring clean and reliable water to Kentuckians and improve infrastructure are examples of common sense and agreeable uses” of American Rescue Plan funds coming into Kentucky. “This type of allocation of funds ultimately saves money in the long term.”

“Every single dollar in the care of state and federal government should be considered labor expended by a taxpayer. That means for that dollar to be available, a working taxpayer put forth an effort to make it possible,” said Sen. Chris McDaniel, whose district includes part of Kenton County. “When precious taxpayer dollars are given that consideration, it makes quality investments like this, on their behalf, all the more rewarding.”

Rep. Buddy Wheatley, who represents part of Kenton County said, “This funding comes at an ideal time, and it will be a huge benefit for those families and businesses that directly benefit.”

“Access to clean drinking water is not something the people of Kentucky should be concerned with, as they should already have it. I am excited to see these important updates come to fruition,” said Rep. Kim Banta who represents portions of both Boone and Kenton counties.

Boone County projects, benefits for Kelly Elementary

The Boone County Fiscal Court will use an investment of $1,226,476 to extend water lines to multiple local neighborhoods and provide safe drinking water to hundreds of unserved rural residents in Western and Southern Boone County.

Kelly Elementary School

The Boone County Water District will use $1,226,475 to provide water service to about 120 previously unserved homes along Kentucky Route 18 near Kelly Elementary School.

Boone County Schools issued a press release lauding the funding allowing an upgrade to include Kelly Elementary School to the municipal water system.

“This provides a new level of safety for Kelley, our students and our community,” said Kelly principal Kathy Gutzweiller.

There were days when the cafeteria could not operate because the water was contaminated and the school had to be closed. After the upgrade, this should never happen again.

Finally, the Sanitation District Number #1 of Northern Kentucky will use $6,102,951 to fund two phases of the Central Boone County Master Sewer Plan. This project will extend sanitary sewer service in the western portion of the county.

“I’m happy with this great news for Boone County and want to thank those locally who will see this project through to its end,” said Sen. John Schickel, who represents Boone County.

“Federal relief funding can be considered a silver lining from the COVID-19 pandemic. This money that was granted to our state has many potential uses, but there are none better than using this funding to better the lives of those who are forced to deal with failing infrastructure on a daily basis,” said Rep. Adam Koenig, who represents portions of both Boone and Kenton counties.

Rep. Ed Massey, who represents a portion of Boone County, said: “Our waste and drinking water infrastructure is in dire need of an overhaul, and it is exciting to see projects of this variety come to life.”

“While there are several ways this money could have been spent,” said Rep. Sal Santoro who represents a portion of Boone County, “the legislature has taken the utility infrastructure of the Commonwealth as a priority. I am excited to see these projects come to Boone County, and I look forward to witnessing the generational impacts they will have.”

About the Cleaner Water Program

A total of $59 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 (ADD) 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, but 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

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