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Federal mine funds send millions to Ky. Appalachian region

March 23, 2021 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Millions in federal funds are going to Kentucky’s Appalachian region for projects to improve water supply, modernize businesses and train workers.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a Democrat and a Republican, announced the $14 million in funding on Monday. The money comes from federal Abandoned Mine Lands pilot program grants. The funding is typically steered to economic projects in coal mining regions.

The projects are in Floyd, Harlan, Laurel, Morgan and Perry counties.

Perry County will receive $3.5 million to improve its water system and develop a new treatment plant. A lumber business in Laurel County is receiving $3.7 million to boost its operations and re-hire 62 workers who were laid off during the pandemic.

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The city of Wheelwright in Floyd County is getting $2 million to build a new water treatment plant and $1.5 million will go to Harlan County for natural gas infrastructure, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“For many of our people, the projects will mean more peace of mind and a fresh start when so many need it as we emerge from this pandemic, from devastating storms and from the downturn in the coal economy,” Beshear said in the release.