Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Presents Community Funding at Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 03, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher presented local leaders with funding for various community projects today following his speech at the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce.

The announcements included $500,000 in state construction funds, which will be made available for the construction of an industrial access road into the Southern Kentucky Intermodal Park at Somerset.

“Building new roads leads to more jobs for Kentuckians, and it sends a message to businesses everywhere that Kentucky is a great place to call home,” said Governor Fletcher. “The economic health of Southeast Kentucky and the entire Commonwealth are dependent on our willingness and ability to continually make the necessary improvements to our infrastructure.”

The funds from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) will allow the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) to complete a project which is designed to attract new industries to the region.

“A thriving business and industrial climate is directly linked to a solid transportation system,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “Our mission statement addresses the relationship between good roads and the economic vitality of the Commonwealth. We’re serious about fulfilling our mission here in Pulaski County and everywhere else in Kentucky.”

“Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation welcomes the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s participation in financing this region’s newest and most innovative rail and bulk transfer facility,” said Greg Jones, SKED’s Executive Director. “The assistance from Governor Fletcher’s administration confirms the need for and value of this facility. The Governor’s support will definitely enhance our efforts to transform the area’s transportation network by offering alternative shipping options to both new and existing industries, as well as providing them with cost-saving warehousing choices.”

SKED’s goal is to attract new rail-served industries to the region and reduce the transportation costs of the existing off-rail companies. The terminal will handle the transfer of bulk products from one mode of transportation to another (truck-to-rail and rail-to-truck transfers). Bulk transfer permits off-rail shippers and receivers to combine long-haul cost efficiencies with the convenient door-to-door delivery ability of trucking services. The park also includes three adjoining industrial sites for potential new industries requiring rail service.

“I know that Governor Fletcher and Secretary Nighbert are focused on results whenever they consider funding for any transportation project,” said Senator Vernie McGaha (R-Russell Springs). “This is a project which is definitely going to produce an array of economic benefits for Southern Kentucky and the entire Commonwealth. I also want to compliment the administration for always being willing to work with state and local leaders for the benefit of the communities in my district.”

ODCP check to fund Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force

Governor Fletcher also presented a ceremonial check from the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP), in the amount of $143,000, to the Lake Cumberland Drug Area Task Force.  The Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force has been in operation since October, 1993 and provides drug law enforcement to Pulaski, Wayne and McCreary counties.

In 2005, the task force initiated 543 criminal investigations which resulted in the arrest of 134 defendants and the seizure of $818,581 in drug proceeds and assets.

“Law enforcement officers witness first hand the impact drugs have on many communities throughout the Commonwealth, and Somerset is no exception,” said Teresa Barton, Justice and Public Safety Deputy Secretary and interim executive director of ODCP. “This grant money will assist the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force in fulfilling their commitment to their communities and protect neighborhoods against drugs.”

Funding presented to Adanta Regional Prevention Center

In addition, the Governor presented a check for $25,288.51 to officials from Adanta Regional Prevention Center to help assist in the implementation of science-based curriculum in the schools, as well as alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention surveys and successful anti-drug media campaigns. Adanta RPC serves Wayne and Taylor counties.

“Projects such as these are indicative of my goal to build strong communities with healthy people all across our great Commonwealth,” Governor Fletcher added.

“Pulaski County is my home,” said Representative Tommy Turner (R-Somerset). “I am delighted that the Governor has chosen to make this investment in the overall quality of life and the economic underpinning of our community.”

General  Burnside Island State Park project

Governor Fletcher also announced today a $6.45 million project to rebuild General Burnside Island State Park.

The project will upgrade the course to the quality of the Commerce Cabinet’s Signature Series golf courses. The course will be designed by Brian Ault, who designed the award-winning golf course at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park.

The Commerce Cabinet also plans to issue a request for proposal for a private development at General Burnside Island State Park, which will include a lodge, restaurant and meeting facility.