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Gov. Beshear announces $6.1M in tornado recovery funding for western Ky.

Western Kentucky will receive a second round of funding for tornado recovery.
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 11:00 AM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2022 at 1:45 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear gave a Team Kentucky update at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 5.

Gov. Andy Beshear - Team Kentucky Update - 5.5.22

Gov. Andy Beshear - Team Kentucky Update - 5.5.22

Posted by Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday, May 5, 2022

The governor announced a second round of money from the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies fund.

The more than $6.1 million in assistance will go to seven western Kentucky cities, counties and utilities to help with the costs of recovery after the December 2021 tornadoes.

“Our Western Kentucky communities need our help as they continue to rebuild following the tornadoes that took so much from them last December,” Governor Beshear said. “These funds will help cover expenses and services that are not eligible for FEMA aid, and they will help ease some of the financial burdens that these communities have endured.”

According to the governor’s office, the $6.1 million announced on Thursday will accommodate the 5.2 percent local share for FEMA-eligible expenses.

Thursday’s funding awards include more than $2.8 million for the City of Mayfield, and Mayfield Electric & Water Systems will receive more than $2 million. Caldwell County Fiscal Court is set to receive nearly $200,000. The City of Dawson Springs will receive more than $121,000. Marshall County Fiscal Court will receive more than $811,000. The City of Bowling Green will receive more than $44,000. Hickman County Fiscal Court will receive more than $17,000.

The week before, Governor Beshear announced that Hopkins County would receive the first round of SAFE funding.

The governor recommended the appropriation for the SAFE fund, and the 2022 General Assembly supported the aid by passing Senate Bill 150, which the governor signed into law April 15.

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management continues to receive additional applications for SAFE funding, which they are carefully reviewing to ensure the funds are used to their maximum benefit.

KYEM anticipates additional funding will be made available to some of these same entities soon.

Governor Beshear also gave updates on recruitment and retention for Kentucky State Police and the state’s correctional facilities:

  • Since January 2022, the Department of Corrections has only had one prison staff member state resignation due to salary
  • For months, DOC has experienced 60-70 percent correctional officer vacancy rates. Today, several prisons are in the 30-40 percent officer vacancy range, which the Governor said is still higher than he wants, but an improvement
  • The Department of Juvenile Justice is also seeing increases in staff retention and new hires at their facilities located in rural areas
  • KSP Cadet Class 102 – slated to begin in June 2022 – is expected to start with 80 or more recruits

“Both DOC and DJJ have attested that the 10% raise we provided security staff in December, and then the locality and shift premium pay issued to DOC, along with some grade changes for additional facility staff at DJJ, and the recent announcement of the 8 percent raise for all state employees – are the reasons they we are starting to see staffing shortages decrease,” he said. “KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett, Jr. has expressed that, due to the trooper raises, the agency feels they could potentially return to historic trooper numbers of 1,006 within five years. Our staff deserves to be paid competitively for the work they do, and I am proud to support it.”

Regarding COVID-19 in Kentucky, the governor said there was a slight increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week, with four counties now in yellow. However, he said the state is not seeing a notable increase in hospitalizations.

He thanked all Kentuckians who have been vaccinated, especially those 65 to 74 years old – in that age group, 98 percent of people have been vaccinated.

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