Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 14, 2007

Fletcher offers $25 million to Wolf Creek Dam communities

Governor Ernie Fletcher is being praised in Pulaski and nearby counties for his quick action in funneling $25 million toward areas affected by the lowering of Lake Cumberland.

On Friday, Fletcher signed an executive order establishing a funding framework to address immediate public safety concerns and other harmful effects caused by the lowering of Lake Cumberland and safety concerns with Wolf Creek Dam.

“This order is about preparedness, not panic,” said Fletcher.

“We must make sure Kentuckians in these counties are safe, and have reliable, clean drinking water and utility services. We are working to minimize the impact the lowering of the lake has on residents in the affected areas and prepare for any possible problem involving the dam.”

Details including what portion of the funding each county is expected to receive have not yet become available.

Counties impacted by the lowering of the lake and the safety hazards of the dam include Caldwell, Christian, Clinton, Cumberland, Logan, Lyon, McCreary, Monroe, Pulaski, Russell, Simpson, Todd, Trigg, and Wayne.

“Repeated calls for emergency funding and a unanimous, bi-partisan 37-0 vote in the State Senate to appropriate $25 million for emergency needs in the Lake Cumberland area were ignored by the House of Representatives,” said Fletcher.

“Because of the failure of the House to act, we must take this action now.”

Affected communities can apply to the Governor’s Office for Local Development for financial assistance.

Governor Fletcher has authorized up to $25 million in emergency funding and has directed all agencies of state government with potential existing programs that could aid the affected communities to provide assistance to the Governor’s Office of Local Development in the evaluation of community needs.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has described the dam as “one of the highest risk dams in the Corps’ inventory.”

In January 2007, the Corps decided to lower Lake Cumberland to 680 feet above sea level to make structural repairs to Wolf Creek Dam.

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