Sep. 23—HARTFORD — Ohio County received a $1 million grant for water improvements Thursday, and Grayson and Hancock counties also were awarded funds during a visit to the region by Gov. Andy Beshear.
Beshear distributed a total of five grants to the counties and the city of Leitchfield during a presentation at the Ohio County Community Center.
Beshear said the grants are "investments that are going to improve the lives of families" in all three counties.
The $1 million Community Development Block Grant for the Ohio County Water District will go to rebuilding the water intake line on the Green River. The intake transports water from the river to the water treatment plant.
Beshear said an opening in the intake system could lead to rocks or debris getting into the system, creating the potential for a breakdown.
The water district serves 23,000 residents, according to the district website.
Eric Hickman, manager of the water district, said the award is "a big win for Ohio County and our residents."
"The $1 million grant is a lot of money, and it is going to affect all our customers and rate payers," he said.
Ohio County also received a $700,000 CDBG grant to extend water and sewer lines and to build an access road to the future site of the Kentucky Whiskey Co. distillery at the county industrial park.
Beshear said the distillery is expected to create 35 jobs within two years of operation.
Ohio County Judge-Executive David Johnson said the county has been working to recruit industries like the distillery for the industrial park.
"With this money, it is going to become a reality," Johnston said. "It's going to mean a lot to the economy of our county."
Hancock County will receive $200,000 in federal dollars to build a splash pad at Vastwood Park.
"This will be an improvement to Vastwood," Hancock Judge-Executive Johnny Roberts Jr. said.
The city of Leitchfield in Grayson County received $198,000 for sidewalk improvement, while the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet received $124,252 to resurface Wilson Church Road in Grayson County.
Beshear said the Green River Area Development District has received $851 million in investments since he took office.
"I believe there is so much more to come, if we do it right and do it together," Beshear said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse