The government funding bill for fiscal year 2022 contains a number of important and fairly specific resources that will support a number of important Kentucky institutions and programs.
And some of them have a direct impact on western Kentucky.
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) reports that he advocated on behalf of the Commonwealth in this year’s government funding process – with measures aimed at the office of President Joe Biden.
The provisions are varied and complete:
— $73 million for the renovation of the Vietnam War-era barracks at Fort Campbell.
— $350 million for the Essential Air Service program, which benefits Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah and Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport.
— $321.5 million to support workers performing necessary environmental cleanup operations at the Paducah Gas Diffusion Plant.
— $30.1 million to the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) to support economic and infrastructure development in the Mississippi Delta region, which encompasses several western Kentucky counties.
— $40 million for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Community Facilities program, which provides funds to rural areas to improve their public services. McConnell worked to include a provision to focus on communities in western Kentucky affected by last December’s tornadoes.
— $3 million for Forest Service National Recreation Areas, including Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Areas, representing an increase of $1 million from previous years. This is in addition to the regular regional allocation.
– And $520,000 for the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area Hillman Ferry Campground Restroom Replacement Project.
McConnell also noted that fiscal year 2022 will ask FEMA to increase its disaster response cost share from 75% to no less than 90% of the costs associated with the five “president-declared disasters” that occur. are produced in 2020 and 2021 in Kentucky, i.e. communities in the Commonwealth will only need to cover up to 10% of response and reconstruction costs.
It also directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to identify funding sources for the construction of temporary grain storage facilities at river ports, helping western Kentucky recover grain storage capacity. cereals after the destruction of the installations during the tornadoes of last December.
And it directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prioritize reviewing areas in western Kentucky for $40 million in funding provided to the Community Facilities Grant Program, which awards resources to rural areas to improve public services, such as broadband and sewage, and facilities, including hospitals, fire departments and libraries.