GLASGOW – The Caveland Environmental Authority Inc. in Cave City has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to help fund the cost to upgrade an existing wastewater treatment plant that serves the Hart County Industrial Park in Horse Cave.

The announcement was made earlier this week in a press release from the federal agency.

The upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant will increase its treatment capacity by 300,000 thousand gallons more a day.

“Right now, we're at 500,000 gallons a day as a capacity,” said David Peterson, chief executive officer of CEA.

The upgrade will give the wastewater treatment treatment plant a daily capacity of 800,000 gallons.

The grant will be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated opportunity zone and will be matched by a $1.4 million loan through the Kentucky Rural Water Finance Corporation. The loan will have an interest rate of 1.75 percent and will be payable over a 20-year period, Peterson said.

The upgrade is expected to create more than 70 jobs and generate $50 million in private investment, said the press release.

“Without a doubt, it's pretty outstanding for the community to be able to do an upgrade on that pretreatment plant,” said Randall Curry, mayor of Horse Cave.

The wastewater treatment plant has been in existence for 10 years or more, Curry said.

The increase in capacity will allow T. Marzetti and Sister Schubert's, which have manufacturing facilities in the Hart County Industrial Park, to keep growing, he said.

“It's a win-win for the city of Horse Cave and for Hart County,” Curry said.

In the press release, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said infrastructure is a necessary ingredient to any community wishing to expand its economy.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, said businesses cannot function without adequate utilities. He continued to say that the grant is great news for area businesses and the surrounding communities.

“I look forward to seeing how this will improve industry in Kentucky's Second District,” Guthrie said in the press release.

The project was made possible by regional planning efforts led by the Barren River Area Development District.

The opportunity zone was created by President Donald J. Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic development by giving tax incentives to investors in economically-distressed communities nationwide.

In June, the EDA added opportunity zones as an investment priority, which increases the number of catalytic opportunity zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas, the press release said.

Work on the upgrade is expected to start in the spring of 2020, Peterson said.

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