Beshear Announces Water Grants, Updates COVID Statistics

The cities of Midway and Versailles received Cleaner Water Program grants on Tuesday. The announcement is the latest from Kentucky’s $250 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Fund allocation for drinking and wastewater grants set aside during the final day of the 2021 General Assembly.

Versailles will receive $595,458 to install new water main lines along the Versailles Bypass from Lexington Street to Woodford County High School. The new lines will eliminate dead-end water mains and create additional loops within the system, increasing pressure and reliability and improving service to underserved households.

“This money allows us to move quickly on a water project that probably would’ve taken years to fund,” said Versailles Mayor and Kentucky League of Cities President Brian Traugott. “Once completed, this project will have a dramatic impact on at least 125 residences and dozens of small businesses. Investments in this type of infrastructure lay the groundwork for successful economic and community development.”

The City of Midway will receive $60,459 to recoat the Midway Industrial Park tank’s interior and exterior to eliminate corrosion. In addition, a float level indicator will be repaired.

Governor Andy Beshear commented on the continued spike in COVID-19 cases during his Tuesday afternoon news conference. He reported a new record-high case positivity rate of 30.25%. “We never dreamed that almost one in every three people being tested would be testing positive,” he said.

Beshear added that 2,200 Kentuckians are currently in hospitals with 431 in intensive care units (ICUs) and 244 on ventilators. Last week had 72,165 new cases. Beshear said that was, by far, more than any other surge to date and more than double the record during the Delta variant surge.

He expects more cases this week than last but is uncertain whether the commonwealth will experience the same week-over-week growth as last week.

Beshear continued his insistence that people get vaccinated or boosted against the virus.

As he echoed calls for more to get vaccinated, Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack offered some hope while citing two states where surges appear to be two weeks ahead of Kentucky. “Both Rhode Island and New York are showing a rapid decline in new cases that appears to mirror the immediately prior vertical climb. If Kentucky follows this patten, then we may see our own peak within one to two weeks, and this of course would be a very welcome reprieve,” Stack said.