Governor's Office for Local Development

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 23, 2006  
Contact Information:  Dan Bayens
Public Information Officer

Governor Ernie Fletcher visited the Starland Child Development Center in Hazard today to present officials with ceremonial checks for $300,000 in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and  $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.  The grants will be used to rehabilitate the child care facility, which has been out of operation since a traffic accident severely damaged the center’s playground and building in late 2005.


“The Starland Child Development Center allows many low income families access to affordable day care service and is a very important part of this community,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Our assistance in rehabilitating this center will provide expanded access to quality child care programming.”


The facility will be completely redesigned, which will help to effectively address safety issues and accommodate a growing need for space.  The improvements will allow an additional 40 children to enroll at the center and create new employment opportunities.  The total project cost is $796,590, with funding from several different government grant programs.


“This funding will allow for several safety improvements to Starland, ensuring a secure environment for parents to send their children,” said Senator Dan Mongiardo (D-Hazard).  “I am pleased to see that this facility is being renovated and I commend local officials for their commitment to this project.”


Starland typically has an enrollment of 150 children and serves approximately 300 families annually.  Seventy-five percent of families served are below the poverty rate.


“The Starland center is the only option for school age children during the summer months and extended school breaks,” said Representative Brandon Smith (R-Hazard).  “It is used by hundreds of Hazard families annually, making the impact of the renovation and expansion highly significant.”


Starland offers employee training programs in association with Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC).  The programming prepares employees to compete in a competitive work environment.  Each Starland employee has access to a full scholarship from HCTC.


Kentucky's U. S. Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program allows the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make funds available through the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) to provide assistance to communities for use in revitalizing neighborhoods, expanding affordable housing and economic opportunities, providing infrastructure and improving community facilities and services.


Governor Fletcher is the current ARC States’ Co-Chair.  As states’ co-chair, Governor Fletcher represents the 13 ARC governors before Congress and the Bush Administration; serves as a member of various ARC committees; and provides guidance on policy and administrative issues concerning the commission. 


ARC is a federal and state economic development program used to meet infrastructure needs as well as to support education, workforce development, leadership and civic capacity building, entrepreneurship, asset-based development and affordable and accessible health care. ARC is federally funded and available to Kentucky’s 51 most eastern and south-central counties. Applications for ARC funds are submitted to GOLD.


Transportation Funding


Also while in Hazard, the Governor presented ceremonial checks worth $628,179 in state construction and maintenance funds for two projects:


·        $ 457,457 to Perry County to resurface KY 28 and KY 476

·        $ 170,722 to Perry County to install guardrail on KY 15 and KY 451


Governor Fletcher also announced the following local Transportation Cabinet bond funding:


·        $400,000 to Perry County

·        $77,500 to the city of Hazard

·        $5,000 to the city of Vicoo


In the past two years, local governments have received more additional state funding for their local road systems than at any other time in the history of the commonwealth.