By Bullitt, Hardin, Meade and Nelson County water districts and Louisville Water Company
The following op-ed was written by Bullitt, Hardin, Meade and Nelson County water districts and Louisville Water Company.
Despite its many challenges, this past year has also brought its share of developments to our home state — and Kentuckians have embraced it with an open and innovative spirit.
In 2021, we experienced record-breaking economic investments. In 2022, we are continuing to invest, invent and collaborate to find even more growth opportunities for Kentucky.
Most recently, the Kentucky Legislature approved $35 million of unallocated funds to be matched by Louisville Water to complete infrastructure improvements in the region.
“Our economic growth and development reflect innovation and teamwork among these communities,” said Dean Watts, Judge Executive of Nelson County. “By asking the right questions and thinking collaboratively, we can anticipate our region’s needs, capitalize on each of our strengths and build for the future. Together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.”
Following the announcement of the incoming Ford Blue Oval Battery Plant, elected leaders, economic development officials and water suppliers from Jefferson, Hardin, Nelson, Meade, and Bullitt Counties came together for a meeting.
We knew this development, along with the new businesses it attracts and the booming bourbon industry, would bring a fresh set of opportunities and challenges, the most pressing of which involved increasing the water supply in each of these growing communities.
“We recognized that collaboration would benefit each of us more than simply improvising as individual counties,” said Harry Berry, Judge Executive of Hardin County. “I am truly grateful to have worked with such an excellent team to help bring about what I believe is the best solution—not just for our respective counties, but for our region and our state.”
Our proposal to create the water main was accepted at a time when business and community leaders alike are beginning to recognize the important role of water in economic development. The new infrastructure will provide 11 million gallons of water for the communities through which it runs.
“We are excited to play a part in the economic growth in this region over the coming years,” said Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water Company. “Together we can ensure that every company, large or small, that puts down roots in one of these communities will have a reliable supply of high-quality water to help nurture and expand their business.”
This multi-county partnership approach creates a model for others to follow and builds on new initiatives like “Water Grows KY,” a campaign educating Kentuckians on water’s critical role in the state’s signature industries – agriculture, distilling and brewing, education, health care and manufacturing.
Our recent legislative win would not have been possible if it weren’t for the determination of community leaders who believe the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
When we work together, we can accomplish many things. As we celebrate this achievement, we hope to inspire more partnerships that benefit our entire Commonwealth.