Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Presents Nearly $500,000 in Funding for Lyon County Community Project

Press Release Date:  Saturday, February 10, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Lanny Brannock

Federal and state grant funds used to dredge riverport, save jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher visited Lyon County today to present nearly $500,000 in federal and state grant funding to officials from the Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority. The funds will be used for a dredging project in Lick Creek Bay and will help save more than 330 jobs.

The riverport dredging project is funded by a $299,240 Delta Regional Authority (DRA) grant and a $200,000 Community Economic Growth Grant (CEGG).

“The DRA and CEGG funds used for the dredging project will help keep the Eddyville Riverport open for business, saving jobs and commerce important to the local economy,” said Governor Fletcher. “Having the ability to match state funds with federal dollars is vital for communities facing times of economic distress. The use of CEGG funds has provided opportunities to assist communities that would have not otherwise been available. This project is an example of why I am asking the General Assembly for bonding authority for $25 million to be placed in the CEGG funds.” 

The riverport project includes dredging Lick Creek Bay to remove debris and silt and repaving the area around the port complex.  Without the work, the port would be in danger of closing.

The current tenants operating within the riverport provide services in the agriculture and marine industries.  These companies provide more than 30 direct jobs at the port. Without the improvements, those jobs would be lost. An additional 300 jobs that are indirectly supported by the riverport would also be lost.

“This funding is a key component of keeping jobs and commerce in Lyon County,” said Sen. Ken Winters (R-Murray). “This work will save the Eddyville Riverport and continue to make Lyon County a better place to live and work.”

“Hundreds of people rely on this port for their livelihoods,” said Rep. J.R. Gray (D-Benton). “These improvements will help keep the port in business and allow our local economy to grow.”

The DRA is a federal-state economic development program restricted to a 21 county area in western Kentucky. DRA funds are used to help economically-distressed communities leverage other federal, state and local dollars for community development projects that focus on infrastructure development, business development and job training services.      

The CEGG fund, which was established during the 2005 General Assembly as HB 267, provided nearly $10 million in grant funds allocated during the 2005-2006 biennium. The CEGG program provided grants to assist eligible recipients with funding for projects that would enhance economic development of their respective community. Monies could be utilized for construction, acquisition of property, equipment purchase, industrial site development or infrastructure and capital improvement projects.

Both the DRA and CEGG funds are administered by the Governor’s Office for Local Development.