Federal, state, and local officials gathered in Calhoun, Kentucky in McLean County on April 22, 2014 to celebrate Earth Day and announce project funding for the McLean County Regional Water Treatment Plant. Each year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) selects a project in each state that demonstrates a positive impact on the environment. The regionalization effort taking place in McLean County is a prime example.
The McLean County Regional Water Commission, created in 2012, includes the cities of Calhoun, Island, Livermore, and Sacramento along with the North McLean County Water District and the McLean County Fiscal Court. With a goal of regionalizing the areas water operations, the Commission worked together to plan and secure funding for a new 2 million gallon per day (mgd) conventional water treatment plant. Currently being designed by Bell Engineering, the project will also include upgrades to the existing raw water intake and raw water pump station at Calhoun, new transmission mains to serve Sacramento and Livermore, and a new booster pumping station to serve the region.
Project funding includes $1,000,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and $7,416,000 USDA Rural Development (RD) grant and loan; both were announced during the event Tuesday. Dignitaries in attendance included Tony Wilder, Department for Local Government Commissioner; Thomas Fern, USDA Rural Development State Director; Joe Bowen, State Senator; Jim Gooch, State Representative; Michael Pape, Congressman Ed Whitfield’s Office; Vernon Brown, Rural Utilities Service Program Director; Jerry Cloyd, USDA RD Area Director; McLean County Judge Executive Kelly Thurman; Mayor Betty Howard, City of Sacramento; Mayor Thomas Fulkerson, City of Calhoun; Mayor Sonny Renfrow, City of Livermore; Mayor Charlie Strole, City of Island; Ronnie Dame, McLean County Regional Water Commission; and Jiten Shah, Green River ADD (GRADD) Executive Director. The event was also attended by representatives from the McLean County Regional Water Commission, McLean County Fiscal Court, North McLean Water District, GRADD and city council and other community members.