Department for Local Government
Gov. Beshear announces grant for ConnectGRADD

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 14, 2009  
Contact Information:  Cindy Lanham

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 14, 2009) – Gov. Steve Beshear, in conjunction with the Department for Local Government, has announced the approval of a $202,738 Delta Regional Authority (DRA) grant to the Green River Area Development District (GRADD) for the ConnectGRADD regional broadband internet project. 

ConnectGRADD will extend broadband internet service to areas within Henderson, McLean, Union, and Webster counties that currently receive inadequate or no broadband internet service. 

“This is another example of an investment in infrastructure that will provide immediate benefits but will also act as a tool to attract future businesses and families to the counties that will be served,” said Gov. Beshear.

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to DRA and to Gov. Beshear,” said GRADD executive director Jiten Shah.  “In the midst of these tough economic times, this grant will help us to level the playing field for hundreds of residents and dozens of businesses in our rural communities.”

The ConnectGRADD, Inc. regional broadband initiative—one of the first of its kind in the nation—was launched in 2007.  It is a unique partnership between GRADD, internet service provider Norlight, Inc., and the fiscal courts of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster counties to provide affordable, high-speed internet access across an entire rural region.

ConnectGRADD offers small communities unprecedented access to economic development, entrepreneurship, education, and entertainment opportunities, as well as e-government and tele-health services.

This grant brings ConnectGRADD’s funding total to over $2.65 million, including a $1.3 million Local Government Economic Development Fund (LGEDF) Coal Severance Grant, a $1 million Kentucky Infrastructure Authority low-interest loan, and a previous $150,000 DRA grant.

The DRA is a federal-state economic development program restricted to a 21-county area of 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/entrepreneurship and job training services. 

DRA grant applications are submitted to the Department for Local Government for review and require the Governor’s recommendation to DRA for full application invitations.  The GRADD is awaiting final approval of their full application that has been submitted to DRA in order to receive the $202,738 award. 

For more information about this project or to subscribe to ConnectGRADD service, please visit