Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Presents More Than $1 Million in Project Funding in Johnson County

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 14, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Lanny Brannock

Funds to extend water lines, renovate courthouse, construct guardrails

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today presented more than $1 million in funding to local officials for community development projects in Johnson County. The funds will be used to improve water infrastructure, renovate the courthouse, improve the senior citizens center and construct guardrails on a section of KY 201. Governor Fletcher presented the checks following a speech to the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce at the Country Music Highway Museum in Paintsville.

“Access to clean drinking water for all citizens must be a priority,” said Governor Fletcher. “This funding will extend water lines to many parts of Johnson County that were previously without water service. By strengthening water infrastructure, state and local leaders are making an important investment in the future development of this community.” 

$840,000 for water infrastructure improvement projects

Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check for $840,000 in state bond funds to local officials for water systems improvement projects throughout Johnson County. The funding will provide water line extensions to the following unserved areas: Rocky Knob, Little Laurel, Jenny’s Creek, Burnt Cabin Branch (off Route 1559), Preston Ridge and Flat Gap.

The funding will also be used to construct a pump station and storage tank in Flat Gap to ensure the water pressure needed to pump water to this area.

“The citizens of Johnson County have gone far too long without basic water services,” said Sen. Ray S. Jones (D-Pikeville).  “These water line extensions will greatly improve the quality of life for residents in our rural areas.”

The Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) is the agency responsible for administering the funds.

$150,114 for renovations to courthouse and senior citizens center

Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check for $100,114, representing a grant from the Local Government Economic Development Fund (LGEDF) for renovation of the Johnson County Courthouse. Office space within the building will be modernized, and the project will allow for the county judge-executive’s administrative offices to relocate to the courthouse.

The Governor also announced a $50,000 LGEDF grant for improvements to the Johnson County Senior Citizens Center. The funds will be used to construct a covered walkway and to repair bathrooms at the facility. The new walkway will provide a safer method of access to the building for handicapped individuals, particularly during inclement weather.

The Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) is the agency responsible for administering LGEDF grants.

Nearly $80,000 for Transportation guardrail project on KY 201

Governor Fletcher presented a ceremonial check totaling nearly $80,000 to the citizens of Johnson County for a guardrail project along KY 201. The Governor also unveiled a new highway sign for to help better direct tourists to the Country Music Highway Museum.

“By increasing the visibility of the museum to motorists, we hope to give more people the opportunity to experience this world class attraction and learn about the rich country music heritage found in this part of the Commonwealth,” said Governor Fletcher.

The Transportation Cabinet will install guardrail on a two mile section of KY 201, also known as Wittensville-Kerz Road. The guardrail begins on KY 201 one mile north of the junction with US 23 and continues on KY 201 north for two miles. The guardrail project is a $79,291 investment that is being paid for by state funds.

“Guardrails improve safety along our rural roads,” said Rep. Hubert Collins (D-Wittensville).  “I am appreciative of the efforts Governor Fletcher is making to improve highway safety and the standard of living for folks in Johnson County.”

“These projects are prime examples of the Governor’s efforts to work cooperatively with local leaders to build stronger communities across the state,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “We are enhancing the quality of life for people across the state by improving safety and paving the way toward improved economic opportunities.”

Governor Fletcher also presented a surprise ceremonial check at today’s Johnson County event.  The Governor presented $200,000 for the resurfacing of various county roads.  The funds are from KYTC state construction accounts.