LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2018) – At a groundbreaking for Greer Industrial Park in the Fariston community today, Rep. Hal Rogers announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $1.3 million toward a 500,000 gallon elevated water tank.
Rogers, who represents Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District, said the tank is for future businesses at the park, as well as 375 current businesses and more than 5,600 homes in the area. He applauded London Mayor Troy Rudder, Laurel County Judge Executive David Westerfield and Paula Thompson, executive director of the Laurel County Industrial Development Authority, for advocating and having the foresight to request a new water tower.
“They came to my office to let me know just how important this project was for the growth of the county. They had the land but they needed the water,” Rogers said. “So we worked with the Corps to make this dream a reality.”
The Fariston Water Storage Tank Project is part of the Section 531 Program that exists in 29 Kentucky counties. It authorizes environmental infrastructure (water and waste water) assistance and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, Louisville District and Huntington District share program responsibilities. The Nashville District has completed two dozen Section 531 projects since the program’s authorization in the 1996 Water Resources Development Act.
Rogers stressed that the water tower represents not just a water source, but a major step towards jobs that will keep talented young people in the region after they graduate from area schools.
“Laurel County is exploding with talent, innovation, a multitude of economic opportunities, including the potential for hundreds of new jobs here at this Greer Industrial Site,” Rogers said.
Laurel County has six industrial parks that are all filled to capacity. This is the seventh and its property borders U.S. 25 past the Levi Jackson State Park entrance and Kentucky Highway 1006 extends along Court Road to the west and south.
Angela Dunn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Project Planning Branch chief, participated in the groundbreaking and spoke about her excitement for the new project and its benefits to the region.
“The 500,000 elevated water storage tank will provide excess capacity to supply the growth within this industrial park and fire protection needs associated with it,” Dunn said. “The improved infrastructure will make the community more economically resilient.”
Once completed, the new storage tank will double the volume of stored water available in Laurel Water District’s northern service area.
“As a result, the district will have the capacity required to supply the industrial park and surrounding area’s surging demand,” said Craig Carrington, Nashville District Planning Branch Plan Formulation chief. “The storage tank will also increase water pressure to local homes and businesses.”
The Nashville District expects the official project partnership agreement to be completed by December 2018. The Corps works with Kentucky PRIDE (Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment), a non-profit established by Rogers to educate and implement programs aimed at improving the environment in eastern Kentucky.
The cost share of the project is 75 percent federal and 25 percent local. Approximately $1.8 million is being invested in the project. The sponsor is Laurel County Water District No. 2, which will administer the design and construction contracts.
(For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)