Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Delta Regional Authority Funding

Press Release Date:  Monday, December 11, 2006  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer
(502) 229-4965

Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) today announced three projects in Kentucky have received Delta Regional Authority (DRA) funding.  The projects are located in Webster, Lyon and Calloway counties.

            “The Delta Regional Authority covers 240 counties and parishes in the United States, including 21 counties in western Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Their mission is focused on improving the quality of life in those areas.  I recommended these projects to the DRA because the projects are a reflection of DRA’s mission as well as that of my administration and am pleased to see them awarded.”

            Webster County Broadband Project

            The DRA has approved a $150,000 grant for the Webster County Fiscal Court.  The funding will be used to build the infrastructure for a county-wide broadband wireless Internet Service for area residents.  Presently, only small pockets of Webster County communities, including Clay, Dixon, Sebree, Slaughters and Providence, have access to broadband service.  Internet availability will be expanded through wireless delivery by constructing two new towers and utilizing three existing structures.  The project also includes installation of both infrastructure and distribution equipment for each of the five towers, as well as six months of user maintenance fees.

                Eddyville Riverport Dredging Project

                The Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority received a $299,240 DRA grant to complete improvements to the Eddyville Riverport, which will allow for the retention of jobs at the location. The project includes dredging Lick Creek Bay to remove debris and silt and repaving the area around the port complex.  The current tenants operating within the riverport provide services in the agriculture and marine industries.  These companies provide over 30 direct jobs which would be lost if the port was forced to close.  An additional 300 jobs indirectly supported through the port services would also be lost.

            Hardin Southern Rail Line Rehabilitation Project

                The Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation received $250,000 in DRA funding to assist in the rehabilitation of a 15-mile rail line that serves the Murray Industrial Park.  The railway is currently owned by Hardin Southern Rail Line. The Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation constructed a rail spur in the Murray Industrial Park after Webasto Roof Systems, Inc. committed to locating a new facility in the area.  The spur ties into the Hardin Southern line, but the company is unable to spend the funds necessary to make the track usable.  The line will serve the existing industrial park and a possible expansion of the park to the north.

            The continued use of the rail line by Webasto Roof Systems will allow the company to ship raw materials and finished product more expeditiously.  The plant will employ 150 within two years of beginning the operation.

            The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state economic development program restricted to a 21-county area of western Kentucky.  Delta Regional Authority 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/entrepreneurship and job training services.

            The application process for the DRA program is facilitated by the three DRA Area Development Districts – Green River, Pennyrile and Purchase.  Pre-applications are reviewed by GOLD and priority projects are recommended by the Governor.  Full applications are reviewed and considered by DRA for final grant approval.