Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Awards More Than $7.8 Million to Marion County
St. Joe Community Center Building dedicated in honor of the late Judge Hourigan
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today awarded more than $7.8 million in community development funding to Marion County officials. The announcements came as part of the St. Joe Community Center Building Dedication, held in memory of former Marion County Judge-Executive David Ross Hourigan.
The 6,000 square-foot facility will be used to meet community development needs for Marion County and surrounding areas.
“Judge Hourigan was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the people of Marion County,” said Governor Fletcher. “This project, named in his honor, will play an important role in strengthening the local economy and improving the quality of life for citizens”
“Judge Hourigan was committed to improving the resources available to the citizens of Marion County,” said House Speaker Jody Richards (D-Bowling Green). “He tirelessly worked with legislators to secure funding for the reconstruction of the community center, and I am honored to be able to celebrate his memory through the completion of this project.”
On March 2, 2006, Governor Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) awarded the Marion County Fiscal Court a $204, 013 Community Economic Growth Grant (CEGG) to help construct the St. Joe Community Center. The CEGG fund, established during the 2005 General Assembly as House Bill 267, provided nearly $10 million in grant funds to be allocated during the 2005-2006 biennium.
The decision to construct a new building came after maintenance costs and structural problems with the existing building were deemed uncontrollable. The new facility is handicap accessible, includes all electric utilities, a kitchen, and two restrooms. The center will continue to serve community purposes, such as meetings or training for the Board of Education, Adult Education, and Family Resource Center.
The property has been an influential part of the community since 1908, when the St. Joseph Church was erected on the site. In 1920, a school was constructed beside the church to serve educational needs of the community. In 1970, the school closed, and in 1996, due to a shortage of priests, the church celebrated its last mass. The Archdiocese of Louisville gave the property to the Marion County Fiscal Court. Residents of the community formed the non-profit organization, St. Joe Community Center, to retain the property and buildings for community activities. The church is now a museum, and the reconstructed parish hall will be used for community gatherings.
“The St. Joe Community Center has always been a place where people could come together,” said Rep. Jimmy Higdon (R-Lebanon). “The completion of the new facility will enable this venue to better serve the needs of the community, and in many ways breathes new life into the various functions held under its roof.”
$7 Million for reconstruction of US 68
Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check for $7,135,989 for the reconstruction of a 3.4-mile section of U.S. 68 between Lebanon and Mays Chapel Road. The reconstruction will improve alignment along the roadway and add eight-foot shoulders throughout the section.
“My goal has always been to see that we don’t overlook small communities when we make community development investments,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan Kelly (R-Springfield). “This is a great example of what can happen when a community organizes to work with state officials to make improvements to their hometown.”
“Governor Fletcher’s bold leadership and management style is allowing unprecedented funding for highway construction throughout the Commonwealth,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “This Marion County project exemplifies our effort to improve safety and build roads to improve opportunities for all Kentuckians. We are now a step closer to having a completely reconstructed highway between Lebanon and Danville.”
The contract totaling $7,135,989 was awarded in December 2006. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2007, with completion in summer 2008.
$525,000 Community Development Block Grant
Governor Fletcher awarded a $525,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the city of Lebanon for the purchase of equipment for lease to Angell-Demmel North America Inc. to assist with an expansion that is expected to create 27 new jobs.
“This partnership demonstrates how the public and private sector can effectively work together to foster economic development, and strengthen local industries,” said Governor Fletcher. “We are proud to have an industry leader like Angell-Demmel as one of the commonwealth’s corporate citizens. Their success is Kentucky’s success.”
Angell-Demmel North America Inc. was recently awarded a contract with a major automobile manufacturer to produce aluminum trim for vehicle doors and instrument panels. Fourteen of the 27 new jobs to be created will benefit low- to moderate-income households.
Located in Lebanon since 1965, Angell-Demmel is a leading manufacturer of decorative trim products for the automotive, appliance and electronic industries. Worldwide customers include General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, Toyota, Nissan, General Electric, Frigidaire and Whirlpool. The Lebanon facility is home to the company’s metal products division. With 174 employees, Angell-Demmel provides more than $8 million annually in gross employee wages to the local economy.
Angell-Demmell North America is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, with subsidiary facilities in Germany and China. Jobs are a combination of skilled, semiskilled and unskilled positions.
The city of Lebanon will use the CDBG funds for the Marion County Industrial Foundation (MCIF), a non-profit economic development corporation, to purchase and lease the equipment to Angell-Demmel.
Kentucky's Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally and within the Commonwealth. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), which administers the CDBG Small Cities program in Kentucky.
$231, 498 for Agricultural Diversification
Governor Fletcher presented a $231,498 check to the Marion County Agricultural Development Council for agricultural diversification efforts in the area. The cost-share programs currently being operated with a portion of Marion County Agricultural Development Funds are agricultural diversification, hay straw and commodity storage, cattle-handling facilities and goat and sheep diversification.
“Marion County Agricultural Development Funds are having a positive impact on the total economy of Marion County and the Commonwealth,” said Governor Fletcher. “The Marion County Agricultural Development Council has continued its support of agriculture diversification by using these funds to help county producers make needed changes to their farming operations. This is paying great dividends for our farm families and rural communities.”
Governor Fletcher and the Kentucky Legislature continue to make great strides toward lessening Kentucky’s dependence on tobacco production while revitalizing the farm economy by investing 50 percent of Kentucky’s Master Settlement Agreement funds into the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. To date, Kentucky has invested more than $231 million in an array of county, regional and state projects designed to increase net farm income and create sustainable new farm-based business enterprises.
More than 2,745 projects have been funded through the Agricultural Development Fund since the inception of the program in January 2001.
$90,000 Awarded to Marion County Detention Center
Governor Fletcher also presented the Marion County Detention Center with a ceremonial check for $90,000 to enhance the jail’s treatment recovery program, which will provide substance abuse treatment for inmates. The grant money is from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP).
“Drugs are as much a health problem as a crime,” said Governor Fletcher. “Too many Kentuckians who are serving time in jails and prisons aren’t receiving, treatment for their drug addictions. Statistics show drug-addicted inmates will return to jail if we don’t continue to change our approach and treat them while incarcerated.”
The Marion County program started two years ago with 10 inmates and is now providing treatment to more than 40 inmates.
“The jail treatment funding will provide the Marion County Detention Center with the resources needed to treat inmates with substance abuse problems, encouraging them to turn their lives around through treatment,” said Laurie Dudgeon, executive director of ODCP. “Providing effective substance abuse treatment in Kentucky is a priority of this administration and the ODCP.”