On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated the City of Earlington for receiving $610,000 from the Economic Development Administration for water system improvements that will provide reliable service, support the expansion of a retail automotive business and diversify the regional economy.

Matched with $390,000 in local funds, this project is expected to create 20 new jobs and boost the economy in Western Kentucky.

“Reliable infrastructure is necessary to strengthen our economy and create sustained opportunity across Kentucky,” said Beshear. “We’re grateful to the EDA for their continued investment in the commonwealth as they help the city of Earlington cultivate an environment for economic development and expansion that will create jobs and provide Kentuckians with reliable water for years to come.”

At this week’s Earlington City Council meeting, Mayor Philip Hunt explained the importance of this funding for economic recovery and future growth.

“These improvements will ensure the City of Earlington has the capacity to provide water and sanitation to any company looking to expand or relocate to our region,” said Hunt. “This grant will create new jobs and added revenue for the city, which will stimulate the local economy and help us recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen.”

This Earlington water system improvements project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities initiative, which the EDA funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities.

The Pennyrile Area Development District led regional planning efforts that made this project possible, according to a release. PADD works to unite the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The EDA is an important partner in building a Better Kentucky, according to a release from Beshear’s office. The EDA invested nearly $3 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to help Kentucky’s tourism industry recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

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