|Gov. visits here, delivers more than $2 million in checks for local projects
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
Gov. Andy Beshear stopped in Montgomery County Tuesday to deliver more than $2 million in checks to local leaders for various projects.
Beshear presented the checks before an audience of more than 100 people at the Montgomery County Health and Civic Center.
In addition to Beshear, the governor’s senior adviser, Rocky Adkins, was in town for the check presentations.
The biggest single recipient of a check locally was the city of Mt. Sterling, which received a $1 million Community Development Block Grant to support the Post Clinic project.
The city had already been awarded a $500,000 CDBG grant for the project. The Montgomery County Fiscal Court and the city have also agreed to provide $75,000 each for the project.
The clinic will build a new 3,700-square-foot facility located at 15 Sterling Ave. to provide free primary health and dental care to Kentuckians who are unemployed, or underemployed, and to the unserved and underserved residents of Montgomery and surrounding counties, according to a release from the governor’s office.
The new facility will be built next to the existing location.
It will contain four medical exam rooms, four dental exam rooms, a lab, a waiting room, a medical records storage area, an administrative area and restrooms, the release said.
The new Post Clinic HVAC system will incorporate high efficiency particle air and ultra-violet filtration and kills airborne viruses and reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to the release.
The new facility, the release said, will also be energy efficient and ADA-accessible.
Louise Summers, the clinic’s executive director, was present to accept the check and offered a few remarks to those in attendance.
“Gov. Beshear, on behalf of the Post Clinic board of directors, doctors, nurses, staff, volunteers and most importantly, our patients, we thank you and the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the CDBG funding to construct a new dental and medical facility,” Summers said. “This new health care facility is an investment in the future of our citizens and economic development of this region. We all know that a healthy work force is important to the progress of our communities.
“The mission of the Post Clinic is to provide free medical and dental health care to persons in need,” she added. “These are the people who live and work in our communities and their health care is important. This award validates their importance.”
Summers thanked those who contributed to the effort to obtain the funding, including Mt. Sterling Mayor Al Botts; the Mt. Sterling City Council; the Montgomery County Fiscal Court; Josh Farrow, executive director of the Gateway Area Development District; and other community leaders.
“We are excited about the potential this new facility brings to our community and how it will aid in the delivery of services and allow for needed expansion to accommodate the future dental and medical health care needs of our people,” she said.
Summers also thanked the board, doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers “who freely give their knowledge, experience and time to improve the health and well-being of our patients continuously. Thank you for all that you do.”
Botts said there is no other entity more deserving than the Post Clinic.
“The city of Mt. Sterling is very proud of this project and so happy to see this award,” Botts said. “The Post Clinic provides a valuable service to those in our community, and to many in surrounding communities who do not have access to affordable health care, or to those who may be uninsured or underinsured. Every community needs a clinic like this. No one should ever be without options for health care.”
Botts said the dental care offered at the clinic is a sometimes overlooked service available to the public.
“I’m also super proud of the specialty care, particularly dental services, that the clinic can provide,” the mayor said. “Although many in our society have basic medical coverage, far too many struggle to obtain needed dental services. I’m touched by the stories of those who are able to provide the needed dental care to give the patient a new smile, which can oftentimes open up employment opportunities for the individual.
“Best of all, the clinic is run by volunteers,” he added. “Doctors, nurses and administrative staff who donate their time and efforts to make our community a better place. This is the type of project that government should be involved in. I’m so proud that our city government can be a part of it.”
Judge-Executive Wally Johnson also welcomed the announcement concerning the Post Clinic.
“This is truly a historic day for Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County with receiving $1 million dollars in CDBG-CV Funds to construct a new state-of-the-art facility for the Post Clinic to continue their mission to provide health and dental care to those in need,” Johnson said.
The city had previously been turned down for an $850,000 grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission for the project. That was announced in March 2021.
The city had previously been awarded a $50,000 grant from the ARC to conduct a feasibility study for a proposal to build a new facility for the clinic.
The study recommended the construction of a new clinic, not rehabilitation of the current facility, officials said.
The existing facility is located in the former medical office of Dr. Byram Ratliff. Byram and his wife, Jennifer, donated use of the facility in 2017. It was originally built in the 1950s.
Locally, the governor also presented checks for more than $1 million to seven local utilities.
The funding is part of the Better Kentucky Plan’s $250 million Cleaning Water Program, which the governor’s office estimates will create approximately 3,800 new jobs.
Those projects include:
• $129,262 to the city of Jeffersonville for a Hwy. 1050 line replacement project.
• $129,262 to the Judy Water Association for a meter chang