Lt. Governor Crit Luallen’s Communications Office
Lt. Gov. Luallen Breaks Ground on Menifee County Regional Kitchen, Senior Citizen Center
Facility to serve seniors in five-county region
Frenchburg, Ky.– Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen today joined local officials to break ground on a new kitchen and senior citizen center that will serve individuals in a five-county region.
The Menifee County Regional Kitchen and Senior Citizen Center will combine and replace outdated facilities that lack adequate space and reliable equipment. The new center will feature more than 5,000 square feet to house a dining and recreation area, activity rooms, a kitchen and a mechanical room.
“Projects like this are critical to allowing our citizens to maintain their independence, and improve their quality of life,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “I entered public service because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives – not a theoretical difference, but a practical, tangible improvement in the quality of their day-to-day living. This center will provide a much-needed, safe facility in the community for seniors and all residents to access educational, recreational and health services.”
The community’s current regional kitchen prepares more than 52,000 meals annually for seniors and at-home clients in an unsafe and inadequate facility. The nearly 90-year-old facility has uneven floors, crumbling walls with gaping holes, insufficient ventilation and inoperable sewage drains that force workers and patrons to seek restroom facilities at an alternative location. Food storage and preparation space is also limited. The building uses household size refrigerators from the 1970’s for food storage when commercial grade refrigeration storage is needed.
Likewise, the current senior citizen center is located in a small, 600-square-foot room in the Beaver Creek Housing project, and parking is scarce, forcing seniors to park far distances from the building.
The new project combines the regional kitchen and senior center in one facility, allowing both to operate in a larger, modern space and share utility costs. In addition, the site will allow new services to be offered, such as health and wellness programs, GED and computer classes, and other programs to serve seniors in the region.
The $1.42 million project was funded through a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a more than $589,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant and $140,000 in Multi-County Coal Severance funding, as well as $60,000 in local donations and $134,000 in local loans.
The project will serve seniors in the five-county Gateway Area Development District: Menifee, Bath, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan counties.
“This project creatively combines several funding sources to construct a two-in-one facility that will both effectively serve as a regional kitchen and senior citizens center,” said Tony Wilder, commissioner of the Department for Local Government. “Menifee and the surrounding counties will now have a quality community facility that will serve both seniors and all residents for many future generations.”
“I am so proud for the seniors of Menifee County,” said Menifee County Judge-Executive George Justice. “I know there has been a lot of hard work put into this project. I know Anita Patrick, the center director and the hard working cooks will be glad to have a new facility to work in. Let’s always remember the hard work our late Judge JD Trimble put in the project, and thanks to the Trimble family.”
“Today is a great day for our senior citizens in Menifee County, and those from surrounding counties that will benefit from this newly modern center,” said Rep. David Hale, of Wellington. “Many people have spent much time and effort in making this day a reality, and we should recognize and applaud their efforts to build a new Regional Kitchen and Senior Citizen Center.”
“It is refreshing to see several agencies and individuals get together and realize such a beneficial resource,” said Sen. Albert Robinson, of London. “Our seniors, many of whom are also veterans, will enjoy this facility, and it will undoubtedly increase their quality of life.”
“I am so happy for the senior citizens of Menifee County and the region,” said Gail Wright, executive director of Gateway Area Development District. “This project has taken a long time and is well deserved. I appreciate all of the partners that have helped to make it happen.”
The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders' continued support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.
ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in an effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that range from education and job training to housing and business expansion to transportation and infrastructure development.
Multi-County LGEDF/Coal Severance Funds are a portion of coal severance taxes set aside to fund projects benefiting two or more coal-producing counties.