Gov. Beshear Announces $1.9 Million in Awards to Benefit Madison County

- 05/30/2023

Kentucky Flag
BEREA, Ky. (May 30, 2023) – Today at the Russel Acton Folk Center, Gov. Beshear presented more than $1.9 million in funding to benefit tourism marketing, water infrastructure, workforce expansion and nonprofits in Madison County.

“When we talk about building a better Kentucky, we are talking about supporting the wellbeing of our people in all facets of their lives,” said Gov. Beshear. “That means investing in our infrastructure, building our workforce, attracting more people to our communities and supporting nonprofit organizations. When one community in Kentucky wins, all of us win.”

“Madison County will benefit for years to come because of the funds announced today,” said Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor. “We are working hard to continue to build a better Madison County every day for every citizen and the infusion of state funds into our communities is always a good thing.”

“We are very grateful for the Cleaner Water grant of nearly one million dollars, which will enable us to rehabilitate one of our older wastewater pump stations,” said Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley. “As Berea continues to grow, investments in our community like this will be very beneficial to our efforts to attract new businesses, help our existing business grow and support residential growth, and will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for our citizens. Additionally, the significant investment in so many Berea-based nonprofits helps them tremendously as they work to serve others in our city and region. This too results in a better quality of life for our community. When we work together, collaborate and focus on advancing the Commonwealth of Kentucky, days like today are possible.”

Tourism Marketing Funding
Gov. Beshear awarded $142,132 to the Berea Tourist and Convention Commission and $20,000 to Richmond Tourism to support travel marketing and promotion. The awards are 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 ARPA funding will play a substantial role in recovery along with future new and expanded projects that we have wanted to do for a long time, however, lacked the immediate funds to do so,” said Donna Angel, executive director of the Berea Tourist and Convention Commission. “Through these funds, we will now be positioned to attend new group tour marketplace meetings and conventions, opening the door to untraveled pathways for the motorcoach industry into Berea. It also allows us to develop new videos, photo stills and digital ads highlighting Berea’s truest assets of arts and crafts, including all the great and exciting outdoor trails. Most importantly, we will have the opportunity to request assistance on analysis studies that will help select Berea as a destination point across Kentucky.”

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

Cleaner Water Program
Gov. Beshear announced the commitment of $958,126 to the City of Berea to rehabilitate a pump station and replace over 3,000 feet of sewer main.

Funded by ARPA and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, $500 million has been appropriated through a bipartisan agreement with the General Assembly to provide clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky since 2021. The funding is allocated based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act. As the project progresses, the utility will be reimbursed by Cleaner Water Program funds.

Brushy Fork Leadership Institute
Gov. Beshear announced the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute at Berea College will use $320,000 for the Brushy Fork Community Leadership Program – People Ready Communities. This program will train leaders in Appalachian Kentucky on how to attract new workers from diverse sectors to Eastern Kentucky. The project is expected to result in 120 participants trained, eight communities improved and eight programs implemented.

“As communities experience declines in population, local leaders recognize strong economies depend on quality-of-life issues that will attract industry and small business, support tourism and retain workers,” said Donna L. Daniels, executive director of the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute. “The People Ready Communities Program engages local people from all sectors in positioning their community to say in their own way that they are open and ready for a diverse workforce. Brushy Fork Leadership Institute is pleased to work in partnership with communities as they define what it means for them to be People Ready.”

The funding comes from the Appalachian Regional Commission and is administered at the state level by the Department for Local Government.

Nonprofit Assistance Fund
Gov. Beshear awarded more than $527,000 in awards to local nonprofits in Berea. 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. The awards include:

$100,000 to Community Farm Alliance;
$100,000 to Hospice Care Plus;
$100,000 to New Opportunity School for Women;
$100,000 to Saint Joseph Berea Foundation;
$53,121 to Sustainable Berea;
$22,908.50 to the Berea Arts Council;
$16,351.89 to the Kentucky Guild of Artisans and Craftsmen;
$15,609.43 to Room in the Inn – Berea;
$7,859.00 to the Berea Christmas Country Dance School;
$7,128.00 to Berea Makerspace; and
$4,975.00 to Madison Southern Band Boosters.
Nonprofit Leader Quotes
“These funds help further the Berea Arts Council’s mission of making art accessible to all in our community,” said Executive Director Kiana Mahjub.

“These funds were critical in helping us deliver our programs to under-resourced women,” said New Opportunity School for Women Executive Director Sister Robbie Pentecost.

“Considering the needs of public health restricting large gatherings, it was simply not possible for us to hold our event as usual. Team Kentucky funds helped us to weather the loss of income and stay connected with our community,” said Laurie White, Berea Christmas Country Dance School board secretary.

Legislator Quotes
“While I am sorry I could not attend the announcement in person, this is truly a great day for not just Berea but all of Madison County,” said Sen. Jared Carpenter of Berea. “I want to thank the Governor for making the trip over to Berea this afternoon as we celebrate this allocation of funds, which will greatly benefit our local infrastructure, encourage folks to visit what I think is the greatest region of Kentucky and lend a helping hand to these amazing nonprofits, who do so much good in our communities.”

“The positive impact this funding will have on the Madison County tourism industry as well as our nonprofit businesses will be immeasurable,” said Rep. Deanna Frazier Gordon of Madison. “These vital community assets will flourish because of the money the legislature has fought to make available to these assistance funds.”

“I am very pleased to take part in this announcement for the funding coming to several of our vital nonprofits, as well as the Berea tourism industry and water infrastructure projects,” said Rep. Bill Wesley of Ravenna. “Nonprofits in the commonwealth serve a vital role in assisting families, children and individuals with issues that otherwise go unaddressed. It will be exciting to see the positive impact this funding will play in their future and the future of our community.”

“The legislature has maintained that ARPA funding will be put to good use under our watch. Seeing this funding come to our local tourism industry as well as our nonprofits is very exciting,” said Rep. Josh Bray of Mount Vernon. “I am pleased to take part in this announcement, and I applaud the work of our local nonprofits as well as the work of my colleagues for making this funding a reality for those who need it.”