Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Mark Welch, left, of the KYTC Department of Rural and Municipal Aid, announces Clarkson's discretionary fund award last Friday as Clarkson Mayor Bonnie Henderson looks on.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Mark Welch, left, of the KYTC Department of Rural and Municipal Aid, announces Clarkson's discretionary fund award last Friday as Clarkson Mayor Bonnie Henderson looks on.

The cities of Leitchfield, Caneyville, and Clarkson received word from the state this week that, cumulatively, they will receive over $330,000 for critical road resurfacing.

In three separate announcements, officials from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Department of Rural and Municipal Aid informed Grayson County's three cities of the amount of discretionary funds they would be receiving for road resurfacing projects.

This year marks the first occasion in which discretionary funds have been made available for road resurfacing projects to Kentucky cities, which would previously receive only annual municipal road aid funding for road repairs/resurfacing.

Municipal road aid is awarded based on a city's population and can only increase due to an influx of population growth or raising the state's fuel tax, according to KYTC Department of Rural and Municipal Aid Field Representative Mark Welch.

In order to receive funding, municipalities were required to submit applications with lists of city streets in most dire need of repair. After applications were submitted, roads were assessed by KYTC district staff to determine their condition and ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst. To qualify for funding, streets must rank as an 8 or higher, Welch said.

Cities receiving discretionary funds will have three years to complete their resurfacing/repair projects, officials said. The cities will be responsible for hiring contractors to complete the work, and then KYTC District 4 will award checks after the projects have been completed and invoices submitted.

Last Friday, Welch announced that, of the 17 streets the city submitted for consideration, Clarkson had been awarded $47,400 in discretionary funds to resurface 0.2 mile of First Street and 0.33 mile of Spring Street. This funding will be in addition to Clarkson's $17,545 in municipal road aid received this year.

"Thank you to Gov. Matt Bevin and the Transportation Cabinet for funding our application for discretionary funds," said Clarkson Mayor Bonnie Henderson in a statement regarding the funds. "We, at the City of Clarkson, are very appreciative."

Then on Monday afternoon, Welch and KYTC Department of Rural and Municipal Aid Commissioner Gray Tomblyn II visited Caneyville City Hall to announce that Caneyville has been awarded $91,250 in discretionary funds to resurface 0.28 mile of Walnut Grove Avenue and 0.85 mile of Center Street. This will be in addition to Caneyville's $12,100 in municipal road aid received this year.

In a statement, Caneyville Mayor James Embry said, "We are very happy to receive these funds. This will impact our small community in such a positive way by making much-needed repairs and providing safer transportation for our citizens."

Finally, on Wednesday morning, Tomblyn visited Leitchfield City Hall to announce that Leitchfield will receive $194,150 in discretionary funds to resurface 0.38 mile of Sequoia Drive, 1.18 miles of Cave Mill Road, 0.22 mile of Comanche Way, 0.17 mile of Basham Drive, 0.10 mile of Mulberry Street, 0.18 mile of North Heyser Drive, and 0.11 mile of South Heyser Drive. This is in addition to the $134,324.18 Leitchfield received in municipal road aid this year.

"Leitchfield is pleased to work with a Frankfort administration that recognizes needs of rural Kentucky," said Leitchfield Mayor Rick Embry in a statement. "We appreciate these funds, which will be used in improving our streets."

In total, Grayson County cities will receive $333,070 in discretionary road funds.

KYTC officials also encouraged city officials to continue to submit requests for more discretionary funding in the future.