Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Recommends Approval of $500,000 for Menifee Health Department

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 07, 2008  
Contact Information:  Cindy Lanham

FRANKFORT, KY (May 7, 2008) – Gov. Steve Beshear, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD), has announced his recommendation for the approval of a $500,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant.  Funds would be used to assist the Menifee County Board of Health to construct a new Health Department. 

This grant, in addition to matching state funds, will be used to purchase land to construct a proposed 6,000 sq. ft. building on US 460.  If approved, the new facility will more than triple the size of the existing health department, accommodating more exam rooms and staff offices, a laboratory and a community education room. 

“In rural communities where there are fewer health care providers, the health department plays a significant role in making everyday life better for the people,” said Governor Beshear during his announcement of the recommendation Tuesday at the Menifee County Courthouse.  The Governor praised the health department’s staff for managing under the current, inadequate circumstances and said he considers the possibility of a new facility an investment in Menifee County. 

According to Bobby Ratliff, Director of the Gateway District Health Department, Menifee’s existing leased structure is over 60 years old and often experience flooding and mudslides due to drainage problems.  Ratliff oversees health departments in Menifee, Bath, Morgan and Rowan counties. 

This Menifee County Health Department project is consistent with ARC strategic goals that strive to accomplish self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life for the communities and citizens of the Appalachian region.  Kentucky is one of 13 states eligible for the funds.  Grant applications are submitted to GOLD for review and require the Governor’s recommendation for approval before submission to ARC.  No project activity can begin until final federal approval is received from ARC.

Kentucky’s 51 most eastern and south-central counties qualify for ARC funding and Menifee is designated economically distressed. ARC is a federal-state economic development program used to assist the Appalachian region through a variety of projects in the areas of public infrastructure, human resource development and business development.