BARBOURVILLE - Gov. Matt Bevin made a visit to Barbourville and the Knox County Fiscal Court on Wednesday.
Governor Bevin announced $62,000 for the city of Barbourville for drainage replacement on Johnson Lane. Bevin also announced $760,964 for Knox County in discretionary funding for area pavement improvements.
According to a press release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that money will be used to resurface the following roads:
East Barbourville Street (County Road 1351H)
Callebs Creek Road (County Road 1068) — a distance of 1.2 miles
Spruce Pine Road (County Road 1066) — a distance of 1.215 miles
Little Bull Creek Road (County Road 1060) — a distance of 1.551 miles
Arapaho Trail (County Road 1327) — a distance of 0.254 miles
Jeffs Creek (County Road 1040) — a distance of 1.00 miles
Moores Creek Road (County Road 1126) — a distance of 2.00 miles
Callebs Creek Road (County Road 1068) — a distance of 0.630 miles
Noahville Lane (County Road 1612) — a distance of 0.245 miles
Noahville Lane Y (County Road 1612) — a distance of of 0.021 miles
Elliott Branch Road (County Road 1270) — a distance of 0.731 miles
West Wentworth Avenue (County Road 1418N) — a distance of 0.089 miles
East Caldwell Street (County Road 1418M) — a distance of 0.171 miles
Boone Way Street (County Road 1349F) — a distance of 0.100 miles
Norvell Road (County Road 1421) — a distance of 0.687 miles
Watch Road (County Road 1341) — a distance of 1.449 miles
Higgins Road (CR 1323) — a distance of 0.924 miles
Knox County Judge-Executive Mike Mitchell identified these roads as being among the most critical in the city.
"Knox County is very appreciative of Governor Bevin and his willingness to promote and enhance safe travel by funding our local roads and infrastructure,” said Judge-Executive Mitchell. “This funding enables us to maintain our local roads creating safer traveling for school buses and day-to-day travels back and forth to work."
“Judge-Executive Mitchell and the Fiscal Court have basically formed this," Bevin said. "We’re just coming back to you with, let’s be honest, it’s your own money. People are very kind to thank me, and thank people on my team for this. Yes, we have discretion as to where it goes but it’s your money. You shouldn’t thank us too much for giving you your own money back. You pay taxes. For those of you that are taxpayers, for those of you that contribute, you send those dollars to Frankfort and those dollars come back.”
When projects are submitted to the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid for discretionary fund consideration, the KYTC district staff evaluate road conditions and determine the most critical needs. Those needs are based on factors such as economic impact, traffic volumes, and safety.
“We tried to prioritize, first of all, safety. Where are there just safety concerns” said Bevin. “And then secondarily, where can we, with the limited dollars we have, get the best return on that investment?”
Those investments in Knox County have become more frequent in the last year.
“With this funding that you’ve delivered today, and the other money that we’ve applied for that you helped us out with… this is going to put us up probably around $1.2 million in the nine months I’ve been in Knox [County],” said Mitchell thanking Bevin.
“It use to be in this state, and it’s a shame that it was, that things were done based on politics - which is unfortunate,” Bevin stated. “It shouldn’t matter whether you’re an R(epublican) county, or a D(emocrat) county, whether you’re an R town or a D town with respect to your elected people. It just shouldn’t matter. Black top is the same everywhere in the state, and safety is the same everywhere in the state.”
The Barbourville City Council and the Knox County Fiscal Court are responsible for administering the work, and KYTC will reimburse them for the projects.