Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Breaks Ground for Owen County Natural Gas Line

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 02, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Dan Bayens

Angela Blank

Funding also presented for Ag Development programming

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited the City of Owenton today to break ground for a natural gas line in Owen County.  A ceremonial check was presented to local officials for $5 million in budget bill line-item funding that will be used to help construct the gas line. 

“The construction of this natural gas line is vital to the future of development in this area,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Owen County has waited patiently, through several different administrations and General Assembly sessions, for this project to come to fruition.  This community will now be able to utilize this essential infrastructure.”     

The long awaited project will service the Kentucky Speedway, the Markland Dam area, an industrial park and will provide for residential hook-ups.  Owen County is the only Kentucky county not to have natural gas.

“I want to congratulate and thank local officials for their continued dedication in securing this funding and making this project a reality,” said Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown).  “This infrastructure is crucial to the success of Owen County and I am extremely pleased that the General Assembly has recognized the importance of this development.  Working together with Representative Royce Adams, we were able to achieve full funding for this project, which is an achievement this community can be proud of.”

The 21-mile gas line will stretch from Carrollton Utilities to the Owenton Industrial Park.  Actaris, an international utility meter manufacturer with more than 250 employees in Owen County, will be connected to the line.  Officials have indicated that the gas line is necessary for the company to remain in the community.

“Owen County will now be equipped with the resources necessary to attract businesses and provide for economic expansion,” said Representative Royce Adams (D-Dry Ridge).  “In addition, the citizens of this county will now have access to a fundamental utility for use in their homes.”

Budget bill line-item projects such as these are administered by the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) through the Office of State Grants. 

Agricultural Development Funding

Governor Fletcher also presented a ceremonial check to Owen County officials for $403,871 in Agricultural Development funding.  The 2006 funds are being be administered by the Owen County Farm Bureau, in the following model programs:

  • Cattle Handling Facilities - $148,400
  • Farm Livestock Fencing Improvement - $106,000
  • Forage Improvement - $53,000
  • Hay, Straw and Commodity Storage - $148,400

The Cattle Handling Facilities Program provides cost-share program that provides beef and dairy producers the ability to implement best management and health practices that augment efficient production and marketing opportunities.

The Farm Livestock Fencing Improvement program offers cost-share assistance for farmers to improve net farm income through improved pasture utilization for livestock producers, encourage boundary fencing repair or replacement to allow for expansion of contained pasture and forage up to the standard for livestock containment, and enhancing the efficiency and utilization of the current Forage Improvement program.

The Forage Resource Improvement and Utilization Program provides cost share assistance in the areas of forage/pasture improvement, rotational grazing, water development systems and shared use equipment like no-till drills, pasture renovators, silage wrappers and baggers that are designed specifically for pasture improvement and improved forage utilization. 

The Hay Straw and Commodity Storage Program offers cost-share assistance for farmers to improve net farm income through employing the best practices related to hay, straw and commodity storage and the utilization of these practices relate to hay, straw and commodity storage and the utilization of these practices, thus improving feed and straw quality. 

Body Armor Funding

Also while in Owenton, Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check to the Owen County Sheriff’s Department for $2,967 in body armor funding.  The grant will be used to acquire seven officer vests and one animal service vest.

The Kentucky Body Armor Program allows law enforcement agencies to acquire body armor for their sworn officers.  Funding for the program is derived from the sale of firearms that have been confiscated by state and local law enforcement agencies.  The program is a collaborative effort by GOLD, the Kentucky State Police and the Division of Surplus Equipment. The current state price contract amount for an officer vest is $331.00 while the average cost of a canine vest is approximately $650.00.

Applications for the Kentucky Body Armor Program are available through GOLD and are accepted on a continual basis.  Projects are selected for funding three or four times a year based on need and the availability of funds.  Since its establishment, the program has approved 3,914 officer vests and 31 service animal vests.  This represents $1,463,703 that has been sent to local law enforcement agencies.  Additionally over $211,000 has been provided to the Kentucky State Police for new equipment.  The Kentucky Body Armor Program is administered by GOLD.