Governor's Office for Local Development

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 10, 2007  
Contact Information:  Lanny Brannock
Andi Johnson
Public Information Officer

Access to an industrial park and college campus will be improved with a new railroad crossing, and officers of the Clark County Sheriff’s Department will be better protected with body armor vests, thanks to more than $2.8 million in funding announced by Governor Ernie Fletcher today in Winchester.


The $2.8 million railroad crossing, parallel to Interstate-64 at Exit 96, will provide access to a new phase of the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Park and a much-needed second access to the industrial park’s existing section. It also will provide a direct approach to the new Bluegrass Community and Technical College campus, which is under construction.


“The economic vitality of Winchester, Clark County and the surrounding area is dependent on the growth of facilities like the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Park,” said Governor Fletcher. “This project is indicative of my administration’s commitment to building roads that lead to better jobs and stronger communities throughout Kentucky.”


“As Clark County grows so must our infrastructure,” said Sen., R.J. Palmer II (D-Winchester).  “I'm pleased to be part of the team bringing $2.8 million to Winchester and Clark County.”


“We want to thank Governor Fletcher for his continued interest in the economic prosperity of Clark County,” said Rep. Don Pasley (D-Winchester). “The improvements announced here today are also exemplary of the success that always results from serious partnerships involving state and local leaders at every level. Everyone wins when we all work together.”


“Governor Fletcher has never wavered from his pledge to provide a solid transportation infrastructure that will meet the future needs of Kentucky,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “This project will facilitate sustained growth for the industrial park and will provide easy access to Bluegrass Community and Technical College.”


Governor awards $8,606 body armor grant to sheriff’s department


Governor Fletcher presented the Clark County Sheriff’s Department with a ceremonial check for $8,606 from the Kentucky Body Armor Program. The funding will purchase 26 protective vests for officers. During the presentation, the Governor also announced that he has proclaimed the week, April 9-15, as “Community Development Week” in Kentucky. The observance is designed to highlight the numerous federal and state grant programs available to counties and cities across the commonwealth through the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD).


“Equipping our officers with protective body armor represents a critical precautionary measure to ensure their safety while protecting our communities,” said Governor Fletcher.  “The Kentucky Body Armor Program is an example of how community development grants are helping to provide local communities with the financial resources they need to address pressing issues.”


The Kentucky Body Armor Program allows law enforcement agencies to acquire body armor for sworn officers.  The program, a collaborative effort by GOLD, the Kentucky State Police and the Division of Surplus Equipment, is funded through the sale of firearms that have been confiscated by state and local law enforcement agencies. 


“It’s a real asset for our patrol deputies always coming into dangerous situations while doing their jobs,” said Clark County Sheriff Berl Purdue. “It’s just one more safety feature that takes the worry from the officers and their families.”


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 in 1998, the program has approved 4,171 officer vests and 35 service animal vests. This represents a $1,587,794.50 investment in the safety of local law enforcement across the commonwealth. In addition, approximately $211,000 has been provided to the Kentucky State Police for the purchase of new equipment.


GOLD is the agency responsible for administering the Kentucky Body Armor Program.