Gov. Beshear helps present Mayfield families with keys to new homes on 6-month anniversary of deadly tornadoes
WESTERN Ky. (KFVS) - Governor Andy Beshear was in western Kentucky on Friday, June 10, the six-month anniversary of the deadly tornadoes.
The governor celebrated some of the first fully-finished new homes for tornado victims in Mayfield.
Construction of the three homes was made possible with funding from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund and the nonprofit Homes and Hope for Kentucky.
Homes and Hope for Kentucky partnered with Mennonite Disaster Services and Amish groups in the region to build and repair homes without labor costs.
Homes and Hope is expected to fund up to 100 homes with 12 additional houses under construction in Graves County.
“To see three of our western Kentucky families enter their new homes, only six months after these devastating tornadoes, is truly a remarkable milestone that offers us all a great deal of hope,” Governor Beshear said. “Today is a culmination of the hard work, determination and compassion of a lot of people and I am grateful to everyone who played a part in making this possible for the Patterson, Russell and Rio families.”
“This is a wonderful day, a day of celebration, six months to the day after a terrible tornado changed the face of our town. But that tornado didn’t change the heart of our town and with God’s guidance, people have come together to build back not just these homes, but to build hope in this community,” said Heather Nesler, co-chair of Homes and Hope for Kentucky. “We are indebted to our volunteer partners and early funders that allowed this project to begin, and now with the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund allocation, this project can shift into overdrive, paired with increased numbers of Amish volunteers.”
“I can think of no better way to commemorate the six-month mark of the December 10, 2021, tornadoes than the passing of the keys to the first three new homes completed in Mayfield by Homes and Hope for Kentucky,” said Mayfield Mayor Kathy O’Nan. “Hope is the driving force as we look to the future of our town and this event certainly embodies that feeling!”
While in Mayfield, the governor also awarded Mayfield Electric & Water Systems $15 million for financial assistance from the Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies fund.
The award follows two SAFE fund announcements to the area in May, including more than $2 million awarded to MEWS and $2.8 million awarded to the City of Mayfield.
“The response from the Governor’s office has been phenomenal,” said Marty Ivy, general superintendent for MEWS. “These SAFE funds will help get Mayfield Electric and Water Systems rebuilt. We are so thankful for the governor’s support!”
Following his visit to Mayfield, the governor stopped in his dad’s hometown of Dawson Springs to present $1.2 million in SAFE funding for land survey costs.
In addition to the funding, Dawson Springs also received a $121,047 award from the fund in May, along with $58,500 awarded to Hopkins County earlier in the month.
“Many may not realize what the cost of a survey is these days,” said Dawson Springs Mayor Chris Smiley. “This $1.2 million is going to help a lot of people here in Dawson Springs – hopefully even the ones who have already paid.”
The governor also visited Marshall County on Friday where he awarded $868,000 to the city of Benton to improve safety, connectivity and convenience for pedestrians.
Funding will be used to build seven new 5-foot-wide sidewalks and crosswalks near a residential and commercial area that includes banks, shops, restaurants and a post office.
The new sidewalks will be built on one side of each of the following streets: West Sixth Street, Seventh Street, Eighth Street, Ash Street, Powell Street, Morningside Drive and Commerce Drive.
“Once complete, the new sidewalks and crosswalks will offer Kentuckians more choices to conveniently get to nearby homes, businesses and retail stores and to safely cross the street,” Governor Beshear said. “Sidewalks also have the added benefit of supporting better health outcomes by encouraging physical activity.”
The project area is close to an active and growing business area with a large elderly population who walk for exercise as well as a population of Kentuckians who do not own cars.
“Sidewalks give pedestrians the peace of mind they need to travel alongside live traffic safely,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said. “Improving all modes of transportation improves equity and this sidewalk will make a world of difference for residents who may not own a vehicle or prefer to travel on foot.”
TAP is a federally funded reimbursement program administered through Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Local Programs. Funding supports non-motorized forms of transportation, like bicycle and pedestrian pathways, ADA compliance, Safe Routes to School and wildlife mitigation.
The program covers 80 percent of the project cost.
Copyright 2022 KFVS. All rights reserved.