By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear toured the near-zero energy housing development in the Emlyn community in Whitley County on Wednesday afternoon.
The energy efficient housing development in Emlyn has been a project of the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and 42 other partners, according to Kentucky Highlands President and CEO Jerry Rickett.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the project,” Rickett said, as he welcomed the governor for the tour of the fifth home, which is being completed in the development. The other four homes in the development are already occupied.
The homes are specially designed by University of Kentucky Design students. They are insulated to be air-tight and come fully equipped with solar panels on the roof and General Electric energy efficient appliances inside. Dual electric meters on the outside of the house measure the amount of energy produced by the solar panels, which in turn gets sold back to the Tennessee Valley Authority for 22-cents per kilowatt. Depending on family size and energy usage, some of the families could receive checks for several hundred dollars at the end of the year, according to Rickett.
“I’m impressed; I think it’s a fantastic development, particularly in rural Kentucky,” Beshear said, adding that it was a “win-win” with the appliances being purchased locally from GE in Louisville.
“We tried to use local vendors whenever possible,” Rickett said.
Rickett said he hopes for 13 more houses to be added to the development over time using energy efficient technology. Kentucky Highlands recently got approval from the Whitley County Fiscal Court to apply for a Community Block Development Grant (CBDG)to use for “gap financing” to fund the difference between the cost of building each house and the house’s actual appraisal value, according to Rickett.
The homes are typically built for anywhere from $207,000 to $257,000 and appraise at approximately $116,000. If received, the CBDG will be used to pay this difference, according to Rickett, who said he hopes the project continues to grow.
One of the future hopes for projects such as these is to educate the world about near-zero energy building practices so the appraisal value will reflect the true cost and worth of the homes, according to Kentucky Highlands Director of Housing Tom Manning-Beavin.
The project was made possible with two grants of $300,000 each from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rural Housing Economic Development Program and the CBDG-Recovery Program. However, the project would not have been made a reality without the contributions of the over three-dozen public and private organizations and individuals who helped with the development, according to Rickett.
“It’s a great project; anytime Kentuckians can move into better homes with lower energy costs it’s great,” Beshear said.
By Charlotte Underwood / Staff writer
Chris Dinkins, 50, was flown from the scene to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington for treatment. Hospital officials said he was in serious condition at press time.
Corbin man shot in Knox
A Corbin man has been hospitalized and a second man jailed after a shooting in Knox County Wednesday afternoon.
- Corbin man shot in Knox
- Local News
- Local Sports
Williamsburg players hoist the team's Region 3 Championship trophy following their win over Hazard.
What a Run
Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets might not have accomplished their final goal for the 2013 season, but what an impressive season they had.
At it Again
The field has been set for some time and the schedules are made for the 18th Annual Bowman Memorial Classic Tournament at Lynn Camp High School, which gets underway today.
- What a Run
John L. Ross
Sometimes you have to say ‘I didn’t do it’
“I didn’t do it.” Most of us have heard that sentence at one time or another — law enforcement probably hears those words the most.
- Sometimes you have to say ‘I didn’t do it’
Stacie Eichinger brings out her "Walk 4 Courage" buggy and beads she's selling outside the West Knox Volunteer Fire and Rescue station Wednesday, to pose with the crew. Those in the picture include Chief Darryl Baker and his son.
Raising money for ill children, Stacie sets foot at West Knox firehouse
Moments after Stacie Eichinger got to the West Knox Volunteer Fire and Rescue station on a warm Wednesday afternoon, priority one was to lose the shoes.
- Raising money for ill children, Stacie sets foot at West Knox firehouse
Hunter Hills service truly honored our veterans
Last month, I had the privilege of attending a Veterans Day service at Hunter Hills Elementary School. I wish everyone in Corbin could have attended. It was a program that truly honored the veterans.
- Hunter Hills service truly honored our veterans
Authors Steve Vest (left) and James B. Goode (right) discuss the making of the holiday book, "Kentucky's Twelve Days of Christmas."
Season’s Readings: Christmas book tour stops in Corbin
For an hour Monday, voices filled with the written words of Christmases past filtered through the Corbin Public Library.
- Season’s Readings: Christmas book tour stops in Corbin