FRENCHBURG, KY — The Menifee County Fiscal Court completed a 2017 Flex-E-Grant project that resulted in the development of a tourism marketing plan, an online asset map and a social media presence from the county.
The Menifee County Fiscal Court was awarded $10,000 through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Flex-E-Grant program, which is administered by The Center for Rural Development, to develop the project.
The county developed an advisory committee that included Judge Executive Rick Stiltner. They began the project by developing a list of all potential tourist destinations and all applicable county assets including community facilities, dining, events, entertainment, farms, agribusinesses, lodging, outdoor adventure, quilt squares, recreation and wellness, retail, and trails.
The Gateway Area Development District developed the database of items and created an asset map that is available on the Menifee County website. After the map was completed, additional tourist hotspots, community facilities, and attractions were also identified and added based on input from community members.
Lastly, in an effort to stay connected to the public, the county worked with local students from Menifee County High School to develop social media platforms on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube.
The Center for Rural Development (The Center) and the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College worked together to identify projects that align with the goals of the Flex-E Grant program and support other regional initiatives such as Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and the Kentucky Promise Zone. The grants provided a critical resource for communities to plan and implement projects that address both local and regional development efforts.
The 2017 ARC Flex-E-Grants funded 22 projects totaling more than $180,000 in grant funds with a minimum of 20 percent matched locally. The grants were awarded in economically distressed counties, as designated by the ARC, including Carter, Clay, Cumberland, Estill, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Letcher, Magoffin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Morgan, and Whitley counties.
Three additional multi-county projects with a regional development focus will impact counties of Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Whitley, and Wolfe.
These Southern and Eastern Kentucky communities used the grants to engage local residents in planning processes that explore strategic approaches to community and economic development, and projects that result in assets for tourism, downtown revitalization, youth development and other areas.
For more information on The Center’s Flex-E-Grant program, contact Patti Simpson at 606-677-6000.
Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.