PEACH GROVE, KY (FOX19) - Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear toured storm damage in Pendleton County on Tuesday, and announced a state grant for the Pendleton County Library.
Beshear toured damage in Peach Grove, where Friday's strong storms and tornadoes destroyed several homes.
She also announced a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help construct the new Pendleton County Public Library.
The new library project was an important endeavor to Pendleton County resident and literacy advocate, Courtney Stephenson, who died during the area's recent severe storms. At the request of Stephenson's family, the library board agreed to go forward with today's announcement as scheduled.
"Last week's horrific storms brought tragedy to many communities and families across our state," Mrs. Beshear said. "I know from the response of friends and family members, Pendleton County lost an enthusiastic and dedicated wife, mother and friend in Courtney. She was a committed advocate for literacy and this library, and her spirit will truly live on in the completion of the project."
Pendleton County's current library building is about half the recommended size that the community library should be, according to the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA). Additionally, the building is located in the floodplain and has sustained more than $1.5 million in flood damage. The community has offered strong support for the new library project, including a petition with more than 300 signatures and a resolution of support from the City of Falmouth.
The new Pendleton County Public Library will be double the size of the current building and provide expanded computer access, programming, materials and book collections for adults and children in the community. Unlike the current site, the new facility will be out of the floodplain, incorporate energy saving features, be ADA accessible and allow for future expansion. Multipurpose meeting rooms will also be available for community events.