Grand Rivers, Wingo and Columbus were recently awarded discretionary funds for road repairs, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Rural and Municipal Aid announced Monday.
Grand Rivers will receive $148,650 to assist the city with repairs to a major drainage structure along John Henry O'Bryan Drive in Grand Rivers.
Grand Rivers Mayor Tom Moodie noted that the anticipated reopening of Patti's Restaurant is expected to cause a resurgence of visitors, resulting in increased traffic along the city's main thoroughfare.
"I want to express our appreciation and gratitude for these funds. I am very pleased with the interest in the small towns of Kentucky," Moodie said. "The discretionary funds will greatly help the government entities for this part of the state, as well as the residents and business owners of the area. We love being able to help visitors enjoy our town as much as we do."
Projects submitted to the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid for discretionary fund consideration are evaluated by the KYTC district staff to assess the condition of roads and streets to determine the most critical needs based on factors such as safety, economic impact, and traffic volume.
"I'm pleased to see that our region has received funding for these much-needed road projects," State Sen. Robby Mills said. "I look forward to their completion knowing the community will benefit greatly from upgraded roadways."
State Rep. Lynn Bechler also expressed his appreciation for the assistance provided to Grand Rivers.
"Investing in infrastructure is critical for improving economic development and providing increased safety for our citizens," Bechler said. "I want to thank Gov. Bevin for making this investment in Grand Rivers and working with us to prioritize one of the most critical priorities of government; infrastructure."
Wingo will receive $40,545 to pave a section of St. Paul Street.
In the application for discretionary funding, Wingo Mayor Charles Shelby noted that St. Paul Street gets a substantial amount of farm truck traffic heading from the Wingo area to Mayfield, as well as normal passenger vehicle traffic.
Rep. Richard Heath expressed his appreciation for the discretionary award to aid with critical street repairs and paving.
"This investment in rural infrastructure is great news for Wingo and Graves County. I want to thank Gov. Bevin for working with the General Assembly and our local officials to allocate this important funding," Heath said. "Our citizens, farmers, and business owners rely on safe and smooth roads to get around. Quality infrastructure is critical to safety and economic development."
State Sen. Stan Humphries echoed the importance of street improvements supported by the discretionary awards.
"This award will benefit the citizens of Wingo," Humphries said. "Nothing is more essential than maintaining safe roadways. I look forward to the completion of this infrastructure upgrade in Wingo that will benefit this community and its residents."
The Department of Rural and Municipal Aid is currently working to compile an agreement between the Cabinet and the city of Wingo.
Columbus will get $17,388 to cover improvements along sections of Cliff Drive and Rogers Street.
In an application for the funding, Columbus Mayor Kay Ferguson noted that the city gets substantial traffic going to and from Columbus-Belmont State Park and that almost all streets in town carry school bus traffic.
"The funding helps the city of Columbus to provide safer streets and roads for all of our 157 citizens," Ferguson said.
In the application, the mayor indicated the city has not been able to afford substantial repairs to city streets since 1989.
State Rep. Steven Rudy said maintaining infrastructure is an important government function.
"As chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue committee, it is a priority for me to ensure that Frankfort provides support for our rural communities, like Columbus," Rudy said. "There is no better example of that than investing in roads and streets."
The Department of Rural and Municipal Aid is currently working to compile an agreement between the Cabinet and the city of Columbus.