Pine Mountain Settlement School was recently awarded $8,000 through the Appalachian Regional Commission Flex-E-Grant program, which is administered by The Center for Rural Development and the Brushy Fork Institute, to help form a strategic planning committee.
The Pine Mountain Settlement School will build upon planning and community assets and the needs project that was funded by a Flex-E-Grant in 2015. This phase of the program will involve creating a development plan for the school.
The project will bring in a consultant to work with members of a newly formed strategic planning committee in creating the development plan. The school will also continue to engage community members in planning community programming and in determining how best to use facilities on the campus.
The Center for Rural Development and the Brushy Fork Institute worked together to choose projects that align with the goals of the Flex-E Grant Program and support other regional initiatives such as Shaping Our Appalachian Region and the Kentucky Promise Zone. The grants provide a critical resource for communities to plan and implement projects that address both local and regional development efforts.
The 2016 ARC Flex-E-Grants will fund 20 projects totaling $175,000 in grant funds with a minimum of 20 percent matched locally. The grants were awarded in economically distressed counties, as designated by the ARC, including Clay, Estill, Harlan, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Metcalfe, Perry, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe counties, plus a regional project that will impact a non-profit economic development agency that services 45 counties in Appalachian Kentucky.
The grants will support focus areas such as seven projects in Promise Zone counties: Clay, Harlan, Letcher, Perry and Whitley.
These southern and eastern Kentucky communities will use the grants to engage local residents in planning processes that explore strategic approaches to community and economic development, and projects that result in assets for tourism, downtown revitalization, youth development and other areas.
The 2016 Flex-E-Grant cycle concludes on Sept. 30. Look for information on future FEG funding opportunities in the fall of this year.