Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Presents 2015 Spirit of Kentucky Award to McLean County Regional Water Commission

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 27, 2015  
Contact Information:  Terry Sebastian
Jennifer Brislin

McLean County partnership honored at 40th Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear and Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder today presented the 2015 Spirit of Kentucky Award to the McLean County Regional Water Commission, a partnership consisting of city and county groups that joined together to centralize the region’s water system. 

The award was presented as part of the 40th Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference.

“Our Kentucky counties need reliable and quality infrastructure in order to grow and thrive,” said Gov. Beshear. “I commend the members of the McLean County Regional Water Commission for recognizing the value of regional collaboration and joining together to solve its county’s water infrastructure needs by developing a plan to deliver safe and cost-effective drinking water from a centralized system.”

The McLean County Regional Water Commission was formed in 2009 to address the region’s drinking water needs and aging water supply systems.  Members of the commission include the McLean County Fiscal Court, the North McLean Water District and the cities of Calhoun, Island, Livermore and Sacramento.

Currently, the 9,500 McLean County residents are served by five independent water systems – each of which is approaching its functional life expectancy and struggling to meet the safe operating standards of federal regulations. Some of the water plants are even being forced to rely on water sources outside of the county, putting residents at risk for price fluctuations that are out of their control.   

Instead of tackling the needs of each individual water system, the Commission generated a comprehensive plan to consolidate the county’s water functions into one centralized system.  This concerted plan will help the county to effectively control the area’s water production, capacity and cost by combining resources and avoiding repetitive expenses.

Through the power of regional collaboration, the Commission has secured nearly $11 million in federal and state funding to construct the new 2 million-gallon capacity centralized water tank and its supplementary infrastructure needs. The modern, state-of-the-art water system will provide a safe, reliable and cost-effective water supply that will allow residents’ water rates to remain low.   

“In this day of limited government resources, partnerships among agencies are imperative in order to develop and complete broad community infrastructure projects,” said Commissioner Wilder. “Members of the McLean County Regional Water Commission understood the challenges facing its independent water systems and smartly partnered to pool resources and secure the funding necessary to provide a quality, county-wide water system that will serve residents for many future generations.  Congrats to the Commission on its successful, regional partnership and for receiving the 2015 Spirit of Kentucky Award.”

Spirit of Kentucky Award
The Spirit of Kentucky Award is given annually to sponsors of a public project that demonstrate cost effective coordination of government resources among multiple government groups.

Nominations for the Spirit of Kentucky Award were submitted to DLG for consideration.  Projects eligible for nomination include those of government, public service, private non-profit or quasi-governmental groups or agencies.

For more information on the Governor’s Local Issues Conference, please visit