Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Fletcher Announces Funding for Somerset Housing Project and Burnside Sewer Project

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 13, 2006  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

           Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) today announced a $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the city of Somerset and a $473,000 State Flood Control Grant for the city of Burnside.  CDBG funds will be used for the Somerset Scattered Site Phase III Project and State Flood Control Funds will be used for the city of Burnside’s Sewage Transfer Pump Station and Wastewater Collection System constructed with the assistance of the Army Corps of Engineers.  Congressman Hal Rogers and GOLD Commissioner Steve Robertson attended the ceremonial check presentations held today.

            “By providing essential infrastructure services and safe, decent housing for our residents, we are working to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Burnside and Somerset,” said Governor Fletcher.  “The local officials should be commended for their hard work in pursuing these projects.”

            CDBG funding will be used to address 10 homes in Somerset.  The city specifically targeted the low income, disabled and elderly homeowners of Somerset whose homes were in need of repair. 

            “Sewer service is essential to preserving public health and attracting new jobs and businesses,” said U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers at the Burnside groundbreaking.  Rogers later praised the City of Somerset for its housing initiative saying, “I commend Mayor JP Wiles and local leaders for working to provide good, safe, affordable housing to the people of Somerset.”  

            A total of 15 applicants were prioritized.  Of those, 10 homes will be demolished and rebuilt on existing properties.  The other 5 will be placed on stand-by in the event that more funding becomes available or one of the other participants are ineligible or decide not to proceed.

            “All Kentuckians deserve to have sanitary living conditions,” said Senator Vernie McGaha (R-Russell Springs).  “This funding will ensure that Burnside residents will have sanitary wastewater collection process and that Somerset’s most vulnerable citizens have adequate housing.”

            This is the third scattered site housing project funded for the city of Somerset.  All houses were inspected to determine the repair needs.  Most homes have failing foundations.  Other issues for some of the homes are interior mold, unsafe electrical wiring, leaking roofs, little or no insulation and the use of wood stoves or space heaters as the source of heat.    

            Representative Jeffrey Hoover (R-Jamestown) noted, “This project has been a top priority for Mayor Wiles and the Somerset community.  Funding for Phase III will offer 10 households the opportunity to have an efficient home free from extensive disrepair.”

            State Flood Control funds will be used for a sewage transfer pump station and a wastewater collection system.  Currently, there are no existing sanitary sewage collection facilities within Burnside’s planning area.  Residences, businesses and industry provide their own tank systems, which are ineffective.

                Representative Tommy Turner (R-Somerset) said, “The city of Burnside has been working for many years for a sanitary wastewater option for residents and businesses.  Not only will this funding provide better service for Burnside citizens, but it will also eliminate the sewage leakage into Lake Cumberland.”
Kentucky's U. S. Congressional leaders continued support of the CDBG program has made the funding available nationally as well as within the commonwealth.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development makes these funds available through GOLD, which administers the CDBG Small Cities program in Kentucky.

            The State Flood Control Matching Grant Program provides grant funding to help meet cost-share match requirements associated with projects funded by the United States Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  The type of projects previously funded included small dam reconstruction, acquisition and relocation of homes from flood prone areas, debris removal created by tornadoes and construction of floodwalls and elevation of structures above the floodplain.  The fund has also been used to participate in flood studies for future projects.  Funding is available to cities, counties and special districts.  The State Flood Control Matching Grant Program is administered by the Governor’s Office for Local Development.