Grants for new airport runway, student resources awarded to Martin, Johnson counties

Big Sandy Airport: Kentucky Power’s Bob Shurtleff, center, presents a grant for $64,481 to the Big Sandy Regional Airport Board. The grant will fund a feasibility study to expand the airport runaway to 10,000 feet. Johnson Co. Schools: Kentucky Power’s Bob Shurtleff, center, presents $45,000 to Johnson County Schools for the development of an economic development program for students. The award is funded through the Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants (K-PEGG) program.
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JOHNSON, MARTIN COUNTIES, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Martin and Johnson counties in Eastern Kentucky are receiving nearly $110,000 in grants.

The Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants (K-PEGG) will be used for two different projects.

At the Big Sandy Regional Airport in Debord, Kentucky, a $64,481 grant was awarded to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a 10,000-foot runway.

“This project is vital to meeting the explicit needs of Kentucky’s growing aerospace industry and for the future success of many business incentive initiatives and industry recruitment efforts for east Kentucky and the state of Kentucky," said airport board officials.

In Johnson County, a $45,000 grant will go towards the Johnson County Pathway to Economic Development program. The money will be used for student resources like computers, as well as the development of classes.

"The classes will help prepare students for careers and certification in economic development," a press release stated.

The K-PEGG program was approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2015 and updated in 2017. It is funded through the Kentucky Economic Development Surcharge.

Company stockholders match every dollar contributed by non-residential customers. They will match the customers dollar for dollar to collect nearly $800,000 each year "for investment at the local and regional levels."

Company officials say the program is available in all 20 counties served by Kentucky Power, headquartered in Ashland.

“The KPEGG program supports our communities as we work together to revitalize eastern Kentucky through economic development,” said Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite in a press release. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with local, state and regional leaders on these and future projects and will continue working to bring investment and jobs to eastern Kentucky.”

The press release goes on to say, "Kentucky Power has invested nearly $6 million in economic development projects in eastern Kentucky in recent years through the KPEGG and other grant programs."

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