Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that three western Kentucky cities would receive their share of $6 million in SAFE Fund grants. Legislators allocated $120.8 million to the fund in Senate Bill 150. Senator Robby Mills (R-Henderson) sponsored the KLC initiative that included a waiver of the model procurement code for local governments rebuilding from the December tornadoes.
The Beshear administration evaluated grant applications for needs that fit within specific language. “We anticipate more awards for additional funding will be coming soon for some of these same entities for non-FEMA eligible expenses, which (will) ease some of the financial strain these communities face,” Beshear said.
Bowling Green will receive $44,150.79, while Dawson Springs will get $121,047.
Beshear announced that the City of Mayfield will receive $2,880,361, and Mayfield Electric/Water Systems will get $2,091,180.
“The City of Mayfield thanks Governor Beshear, Representative Richard Heath (R-Mayfield), Senator Jason Howell (R-Murray), and all other legislative representation who have worked so diligently in setting up SAFE funding for all the areas affected by the tornado of December 10, 2021,” Mayfield Mayor and KLC Board member Kathy O’Nan said. “As Mayfield was so severely impacted, the announcement of this funding is a big step in our quest to cover revenue needs which are ineligible under FEMA reimbursement. We will continue to seek further SAFE funding as we work to replace our city government buildings and to rebuild our community. We are very grateful for this funding that enables us to continue to provide services for our citizens.”
Also during Thursday’s news conference, Beshear fielded questions about the opening of grant applications that could fund the Brent Spence Bridge project in Covington. City officials have begun drafting letters to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressing their support for the coordinated effort between Kentucky and Ohio to secure funding. Legislators allocated $250 million in the budget for potential matching funds for major infrastructure projects like the Brent Spence project, the I-69 Ohio River crossing at Henderson, and the completion of the Mountain Parkway expansion project.
“In our legislative session, we were able to go ahead, thanks to the General Assembly, and allocate what would be the full amount that Kentucky would be responsible for already appropriated in at least one of the major grants we’re applying for,” commented Beshear. “I think that gives us a leg up. I doubt any other state can say to the federal government, ‘If you provide this grant that is out there, our money is already accounted for, let’s stick a shovel in the ground, and let’s get going.’”