Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Fletcher Approves Funding for Rockcastle County and Mount Vernon

Press Release Date:  Thursday, January 26, 2006  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) today announced a $21,500 Cemetery Preservation Fund grant for Rockcastle County. Funds will be used to restore various cemeteries. Also, Mount Vernon received a Body Armor Grant for $993 to replace 3 officer vests.

Cemetery Preservation Fund

Cemetery Preservation Fund grants will be made to the Buckeye Cemetery, Chestnut Cemetery and Newcomb Cemetery to perform initial cleanup, landscaping, signage, fencing and walkway construction. A flagpole will also be erected.

"The need for Cemetery Preservation is recognized by this administration," said Governor Fletcher. "Cemetery funding allows families to maintain the integrity of the cemeteries."

Senator Ed Worley (D-Richmond) said, "These Rockcastle County cemeteries are our history and should be protected."

"The cemetery grants are vitally important to preserving our history," stated Representative Danny Ford (R-Mount Vernon).

The Kentucky Cemetery Preservation program funds maintenance, preservation and restoration activities. Examples of maintenance activities include initial cleanup and landscaping, purchasing equipment, fencing, signage and improving interior roads. Preservation and restoration activities include acquiring conservation easements, surveying boundaries and repairing and cleaning tombstones.

Other activities that are eligible for funding are historic research, archiving, training to support cemetery preservation and improving access roads.

Counties may establish five-member county cemetery boards to apply for grants. State agencies, local governments, and certain nonprofit organizations – cemeteries, historical and genealogical groups, and local civic groups – also may apply. However, applications from county boards will receive funding priority.

The maximum grant that a group can receive is $25,000 and the minimum grant is $1,000, and a one-to-one local match is required.

A five-member state board oversees the program and makes funding decisions. The state board is chaired by the Commissioner of GOLD and also represents the Kentucky Heritage Council, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission.

Body Armor Program

The Mount Vernon Police Department will replace three officer vests.

Governor Fletcher said, "With funding from our State Body Armor Program, the officers who serve with the Mount Vernon Police will be safer."

"Police officers deserve the best protection available. They put their lives on the line for us day in and day out," said Senator Ed Worley (D-Richmond).

Representative Danny Ford (R-Mount Vernon) stated, "As a resident of Rockcastle County, I appreciate the individuals in uniform who work to protect our community. This body armor grant will give them the necessary equipment to help those who keep our citizens secure."

The Kentucky Body Armor Program, established in 1998, allows law enforcement agencies to acquire body armor for their sworn officers.  Funding for the program is derived from the sale of firearms that have been confiscated by state and local law enforcement agencies.  The program is a collaborative effort by the Governor's Office for Local Development (GOLD), the Kentucky State Police and the Division of Surplus Equipment. The current state price contract amount for an officer vest is $331.00 while the average cost of a canine vest is approximately $650.00.

Applications for the Kentucky Body Armor Program are available through the Governor's Office for Local Development and are accepted on a continual basis.  Projects are selected for funding three or four times a year based on need and the availability of funds.  Since its establishment in 1998, the program has approved 3,171 officer vests and 17 service animal vests. This represents $1,208,671 that has been sent to local law enforcement agencies. Additionally over $211,000 has been provided to the Kentucky State Police for new equipment. The Kentucky Body Armor Program is administered by the Governor’s Office for Local Development.