Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Announces DRA Funding for Marshall County Health Department, Energy Efficiency Grant
BENTON, Ky.– Governor Steve Beshear today announced federal funding for a new public health department in Marshall County and for energy efficiency enhancements to existing public buildings.
A Delta Regional Authority (DRA) federal grant of $400,000 will go toward the construction of a new building for the Marshall County Health Department. Public buildings in the county will receive updates through a $125,000 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG).
“Today’s announcements are critical investments for Marshall County that will ensure residents receive quality medical treatment and improved public facilities,” said Gov. Beshear. “It is important that we work to ensure that Kentuckians receive the best possible health care. My administration is also dedicated to making energy efficient improvements that will provide savings for taxpayers and reduce Kentucky’s energy needs.”
The current health department is housed in a grocery store built in 1964 that was converted to its present use in the 1980s. It consists of 11,000 square-feet in the main building, two outside rental trailers and a private residence. The tight quarters make it difficult for department employees to provide medical services and counseling in a confidential manner.
The new center will be a 24,000 square-foot facility that will allow the health department to consolidate services into one building. It will be located on land owned by the Marshall County Health Board. In addition to serving Marshall County, the health department houses programs that serve areas encompassing much of the DRA region of Kentucky. The current facility provides more than 70,000 services per year. The new health department will meet all federal Americans with Disabilities Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations. Construction is set to begin in early spring of 2011.
The DRA grant is the final funding component needed to implement this project. The funding will supplement a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that Gov. Beshear announced last fall, along with local funding and a loan, for a total project cost of $4 million.
“This is an extremely important project for the people of Marshall County, and I’m proud that I could play a role in making it happen,” said Rep. Will Coursey, of Benton. “It means a lot to me personally because my good health today is due in large part to the care the health department gave me as a child.”
Established by Congress in 2000, DRA partners with federal, state and local governments in efforts to enhance the economy and improve conditions for the impoverished Mississippi Delta region in eight states. The 252 counties and parishes covered by the DRA make up the most distressed area of the country. DRA funds projects ranging from job training to business, transportation and infrastructure development. In addition to its grant program, the DRA has expanded its regional initiatives in the areas of health care, transportation, leadership development and information technology. Kentucky’s westernmost counties qualify for DRA funding.
The $125,000 EECBG grant will support energy efficiency improvements in Marshall County facilities. It will fund exhaust hood replacement and hot water controls in the kitchen of the Marshall County Jail; upgrade light fixtures in the Marshall County Jail and sheriff's office; install building automation controls in the Marshall County Courthouse; and implement other efficiency retrofits in public buildings.
First passed by Congress in 2007, the EECBG program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), with funds coming from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence and administered by the Department for Local Government.
The Kentucky EECBG program provides $6.25 million to assist local governments in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions, reduce total energy use, and improve energy efficiency in the transportation, building and other appropriate sectors. Additional purposes of the EECBG program include spurring economic growth and the creation and/or retention of jobs under ARRA.