Gov. Beshear Presents More Than $1.1 Million To Benefit Ballard, McCracken Counties

- 06/26/2023

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PADUCAH, Ky. (June 26, 2023) – Today, at the Barkley Regional Airport, Gov. Andy Beshear presented more than $1.1 million to support tourism, road and park improvements, law enforcement, recycling and local nonprofits in Ballard and McCracken Counties.

“What an exciting day in Western Kentucky! We’re investing more than $1 million in McCracken and Ballard counties to help build that better future we all want for our kids and grandkids,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today, we’re investing in roads, parks, tourism, local nonprofits and more, while helping protect our heroes in uniform. These funds are going to make a big difference for these communities and everyone who gets to visit.”

Gov. Beshear announced more than $860,000 to benefit McCracken County:

“The funding heading our way is a big win for McCracken County,” said McCracken County Judge/Executive Craig Clymer. “We are investing in the safety and longevity of our people and communities. We thank Gov. Beshear and the legislature for their continued investments and support.”

“A good working relationship between cities, counties and our state government is absolutely critical to our community’s success,” said Paducah Mayor George Bray. “These funds will allow Paducah to improve our outdoor parks, continue to drive tourism, which is so critical to the community, and generally improve the overall quality of life for all of us. We work hard every day to make days like this a reality and are very appreciative of the state supporting the vision we have for Paducah and McCracken County.”

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
Gov. Beshear announced $34,000 to fund a one-day event in Paducah where residents can safely dispose of household hazardous waste.

Land and Water Conservation Fund
Gov. Beshear announced two selected projects for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. They will go to the National Parks Service for final review. McCracken County would receive $79,503 for improvements to McCracken County Park, including a new bike shelter, picnic shelters and nature trail and improvements to the parking lot and mountain bike skills course. The City of Paducah would receive $81,885 to replace the playground equipment at Keiler Park, improving accessibility. Keiler Park is centrally located in Paducah and is in close proximity to two schools, a large church, a local market and several smaller businesses.

Law Enforcement Protection Program
Gov. Beshear awarded $80,105 to the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office through the Law Enforcement Protection Program.

Tourism Marketing Funding
Gov. Beshear awarded $619,306 to the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau to support travel marketing and promotion and attract meetings and conventions. The award is part of the $75 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding announced by the Governor in July to boost the state’s tourism industry and economy following the decline in visitors brought on by the pandemic. The funds are distributed by the Kentucky Department of Tourism to eligible tourism organizations throughout the commonwealth.

“Paducah CVB is looking forward to utilizing the round two ARPA funds to develop new signature experiences. Through these immersive experiences, visitors will be able to explore Paducah with new hands-on activities and memorable storytelling,” said Mary Hammond, executive director of the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Beginning in 2024, Paducah will offer these new experiences to passengers on Viking Cruises during a two-week Mississippi River cruise, including a stop in Paducah, the only one along the Ohio River. Viking will join American Queen Voyages and American Cruise Lines, two companies that have scheduled 59 Paducah visits in 2023.”

Gov. Beshear also presented more than $280,000 for Ballard County:

Nonprofit Assistance Fund
Gov. Beshear awarded $100,000 to the Ballard Senior Citizens Advisory Council and $6,729.42 to St. Mary’s Parish of LaCenter. The awards come from the Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund, which is helping organizations across Kentucky recover from the impacts of the pandemic. The funding comes from ARPA, and Gov. Beshear supported the allocation of funds by the 2022 General Assembly. This funding will provide one-time, direct relief payments to support the mission and long-term sustainability of each eligible nonprofit.

Recycling Grant
Gov. Beshear awarded $33,358 to Ballard County to support the community’s recycling infrastructure.

Road Resurfacing
Gov. Beshear awarded $140,000 to Ballard County to resurface portions of Shelby Road, improving road safety for drivers.

“While I regret I will be unable to attend the event in person, I want to express gratitude to my fellow lawmakers and all of our local and state officials who’ve made the awards possible,” said Sen. Danny Carroll of Benton. “I am thrilled for the good these funding awards will bring. In state government, we do what we can to help provide for those in need through programs and various budget bills, but I firmly believe that the difference-makers exist in our communities, churches and homes. I trust these awards will be used well and cannot wait to witness the benefits they will bring.”

“I am proud to see the work of the legislature directly benefit those in McCracken and Ballard counties,” said Majority Floor Leader Rep. Steven Rudy of Paducah. “These awards will be of great service to our local communities and will attract more people to visit our beautiful state. Throughout the interim, we in the legislature will continue to work towards common sense legislation to aid our local communities.”

“I am honored to see the hard work of the legislature assist the people of McCracken County,” said Rep. Richard Heath of Mayfield. “As we work towards crafting more common-sense legislation during the interim, we keep at the forefront of our minds the importance of lifting up our local communities. These awards that benefit our parks, roads, nonprofits and police departments are the type of awards we in the legislature will continue to advocate for.”

“With these awards, McCracken County will better be able to serve the community through law enforcement and improvements to amenities, as well as attract people to our state,” said Rep. Randy Bridges of Paducah. “Responsible governance begins at building up our local communities, and we in the legislature are committed to giving our local communities the resources to thrive.”

“Throughout my tenure as a representative for the people of McCracken County, I have valued the funding and continued improvement for our local communities,” said Rep. Chris Freeland of Benton. “With improvements to our local parks, police departments, our roads and our nonprofits, these awards will wholistically assist our growing community.”

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