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U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), third from left, and Lonnie Lawson, at left, pose for a group photo with Mayor G.C. Kincer and other City of Jenkins representatives.

Ten Southern and Eastern Kentucky communities and organizations have been awarded federal grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to advance strategic planning efforts in the region as part of the latest round of grants presented by The Center for Rural Development.

Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, presented a total of $84,000 in mini-grants to the new recipients on Thursday, March 28, at an ARC Summit and awards ceremony at The Center in Somerset.


Grant funding amounts—and planned projects in each community—are as follows:

  • City of Jenkins (Letcher County)—$9,000 to hire a consultant to assist with the design of a Lakewalk around Elkhorn Lake and to incorporate key features of the proposed recreation center and its proximity to Gateway Trail.
  • City of Manchester (Clay County)—$5,000 to hire a consultant to assist with developing a community strategic plan.
  • City of Mt. Vernon (Rockcastle County)—$10,000 to develop an architectural landscape plan for Lake Linville Campground and Park.
  • City of Salyersville (Magoffin County)—$10,000 to plan downtown development activities to enhance economic opportunities.
  • City of Greensburg (Green County)—$10,000 to pursue the planning and implementation of an assortment of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts to develop and expand business in the community.
  • City of Paintsville (Johnson County)—$10,000 to procure a consulting engineer to assist with the development of a conceptual recreation park plan and feasibility assessment for the Teays Branch Development Planning Project.
  • Cumberland County—$5,000 to hire a consultant/facilitator to assist with the development of a strategic plan.
  • Discover Downtown Middlesboro—$10,000 to bring in a nationally renowned expert to facilitate strategic planning efforts to revitalize the downtown Middlesboro area.
  • Jackson County Ministries (Jackson County)—$5,000 for rehabilitation efforts of the historical Lincoln Hall on the campus of Annville Institute.
  • McCreary County Fiscal Court—$10,000 to hire a consultant to assist with the development of new business models, a marketing component for business models in conjunction with Trail Town Initiative, and provide incubation services, such as leadership training, hospitality training, and financial management.

“This ARC seed funding is vital to helping our small communities ‘plan their work and work their plan,’ through a challenging economy,” said U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), guest speaker at the ARC Summit. “Our communities are working hard to make improvements and create vision, and this funding provides the kick-start they need to move forward. I commend The Center, the ARC and our local leaders for working together to make Southern and Eastern Kentucky a better place to live.”

The ARC grant funds were awarded through The Center’s Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program.

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