Lt. Gov. Coleman Announces Nearly $170,000 To Benefit Letcher County

- 08/24/2023

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WHITESBURG, Ky. (June 19, 2023) – Today, Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman announced $168,459 in funding that will create healthy outdoor recreational spaces for Letcher County families to enjoy and to learn the history of the region. Additionally, funding will be used to promote tourism in the area.

“By investing in the health of Kentuckians, we’re investing in our future,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “Eastern Kentucky is an incredibly beautiful and historic place with so much to offer. These funds will help bring more people to Letcher County to see that beauty and history firsthand.”

“Today, we’re celebrating investments in our people and our communities,” said Letcher County Judge/Executive Terry Adams. “These funds will help boost our outdoor spaces and help us showcase the beauty and history of our area. We’re appreciative of the state’s assistance as we build a better future for everyone in Letcher County.”

Recreational Trails Program
Lt. Gov. Coleman announced that the City of Jenkins has been selected to receive $100,000 in funds from the Recreational Trails Program. The funding will help the city design and develop a hiking and biking trail that will begin at the Little Shepherd Amphitheater and end at the Jenkins Combs Overlook. The proposed trail will include informational signs detailing the history of the mountain terrain, such as pioneers traveling through the area, civil war activity and moonshining. Visitors will get a great view of the Pound Gap from the top of the trail.

The project will head to the Federal Highway Administration for final approval.

“This trail will follow the path of an old wagon road and bring more visitors to our city,” said Jenkins Mayor Todd DePriest. “This project will educate people on the history of our community and make Jenkins a healthier place to live.”

Land & Water Conservation Fund
The Lieutenant Governor announced that the City of Jenkins has also been selected to receive $66,025 in funds from the Land & Water Conservation Fund. These funds will help make improvements to Jenkins City Park. Improvements will include installing concessions, renovating existing structures and resurfacing of the blacktop area. The project will head to the National Park Service for final approval.

“We will use these funds for upgrades and needed repairs to our park,” said Mayor DePriest. “Jenkins used money from the Land & Water Conservation Fund for our city park in the 1990s, and we’re happy to again receive assistance from this great program.”

Tourism Marketing Funding
Lt. Governor Coleman awarded $2,424 to the Letcher County Tourism and Convention Commission to support travel marketing and promotion. The award is part of the $75 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding announced by Gov. Andy Beshear in July to boost the state’s tourism industry and economy following the decline in visitors brought on by the pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $32,708 in tourism funding for Letcher County announced by the Governor in March.

“Letcher County Tourism is passionate about promoting the natural beauty, cultural heritage and entertainment in our region. ARPA funding will allow us to further showcase our area and encourage tourists to experience Letcher County off the beaten path,” said Lee Adams, executive director of the Letcher County Tourism and Convention Commission. “Letcher County is full of natural beauty with Pine Mountain, Little Shepherd Trail, Bad Branch Falls and Lilley Cornett Woods. With festivals, a growing farmers market, live music and long-time traditions such as the Carcassonne Square Dance, Letcher County has a lot to offer visitors and longtime residents alike. We have several nonprofit organizations, groups and committees who work diligently to bring entertainment to our area.”

The funds are distributed by the Kentucky Department of Tourism to eligible tourism organizations throughout the commonwealth.

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