Ravenna, KY – June 29th, 2018 –
The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp. announced Friday that will be eligible - and is receiving significant State Support - for a sizable grant from the Federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center in Ravenna, Kentucky. This award, when approved, will provide a
staggering 80/20 match for donated dollars. Every dollar raised by KSHC before August 10th, 2018 could be matched at four dollars by the ARC grant program.
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION
Contributed dollars will go towards improving and expanding the former CSX railcar repair facility in Ravenna, KY which will be repurposed into a rail-based multi-use campus. It will also help fund the restoration of historic steam locomotive Chesapeake and Ohio #2716.
The Kentucky Rail Heritage Center project was announced in May as a joint-effort between KSHC and CSX Transportation to bring about economic development in Appalachian Kentucky through a rail redevelopment project. KSHC has entered into a contract with CSX to purchase much of Ravenna Yard, a decommissioned facility and accompanying rail yard in Estill County, Kentucky. Kentucky Steam Heritage president Chris Campbell said the 501(c)(3) group plans to finalize the purchase of the property with CSX in mid-August, a timeline closely coinciding with the grant deadline.
Once opened, the Rail Heritage Center will be home to steam locomotive #2716 and other historic pieces including a CSX-donated C&O Caboose. The facility will utilize the restoration and operation of equipment as a hands-on learning environment and tourist attraction. KSHC has already agreed to partner with regional vocational school tech programs to champion workforce and skilled trade development through programs at the facility. The 50-acre campus will also eventually host locally-themed restaurants and shops.
The project announcement - and subsequent grant application - has received support from a myriad of government officials including Congressman Andy Barr, the office of the Governor of Kentucky, and many other local and regional representatives. The Kentucky Rail Heritage Center initiative was announced in a May press conference, which sparked widespread regional community support, and nationwide railroad industry interest.
The ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. ARC grant opportunities are afforded to counties that are Federally-determined as “coal depressed.” The Rail Heritage Center, located in Estill County, Kentucky, qualifies for the full grant match allocation.
Tax-deductible donations to the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp. can be made through their website www.kentuckysteam.org, or by mail at PO Box 23971 Lexington KY 40523. Each dollar donated by August 10th will be considered for the 400% match.
More about the Appalachian Regional Commission and its grant program can be found at www.arc.gov