Community & Economic Development

This department coordinates activities pertaining to economic development, community development, project development, project administration, grants research, public administration, infrastructure planning, and geographic information systems. Staff also work with local elected leadership to provide public administration assistance. Our Economic Development Planner markets sites and buildings in the area to prospective businesses and industries. Our project developers are very effective in working with funding agencies to coordinate projects from just being a thought on a piece of paper to holding groundbreakings and open houses. Grant proposal writing, application submittal, and environmental review record preparation are just a few of their activities. We have certified project administrators who work as liaisons between the grantee, funding agencies, engineers, and project beneficiaries to make certain all requirements are met for financial management, contract administration, and labor compliance standards. Funding sources for community and economic development projects may include but are not limited to any number of federal and state programs such as: Community Development Block Grant, Appalachian Regional Commission, Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, Homeland Security, Land & Water Conservation Fund, Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Alternatives Program, and Economic Development Administration.

Our GIS/Information Department staff, using GIS equipment and software, are able to display visual representations of data by utilizing a mapping program that geo-references points, lines, and polygon features. This information is collected and stored in a database environment.  Staff also provides mapping services.  Our Transportation planner works extensively with the 6-year highway plan, the ADD Transportation committee and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.  He offers his expertise and technical assistance to constituents of the region on all transportation projects.


Grant Writing & Research

Once an idea or identified need becomes defined, the Big Sandy Area Development District employs staff that can assist the project sponsor whether that be a county, city, special district, or other non-profit organization in identifying potential sources of funding for the project.  Our Grants Writer/Researcher will seek out sources of funding that may include grants or loans from federal agencies, state agencies, or private foundations.  Coordinating with Big Sandy ADD project developers and administrators in a team approach as well as the local sponsor to further define the project, the grant researcher will identify appropriate funding sources and then review the guidelines necessary to meet funding agency requirements for preparing an application.

Project Development

 The first step toward project development involves identifying specific community needs and issues.  This is best done at the local level with community officials, local residents, and Big Sandy Area Development District staff participating in the process.  The scope of the project must be defined and the potential sources of financial support must be identified.  The Project Developer works effectively with funding agencies to coordinate a project and assist the project sponsor in identifying appropriate funding alternatives including federal, state, local or private sources.  After which, the Project Developer will gather the necessary data for application writing purposes with input from the project applicant and appropriate professional service providers and complete the required documentation for the application(s).  Fees charged for preparation of funding applications are based upon a rate of $35 per hour or an agreed upon fixed fee for administration of the project. Fees charged are dependent upon the funding source requirements and level of detail/involvement needed 

Project Administration

From initial project planning to notification of a project being funded, our project administration staff can assist in overall coordination of the project on behalf of the applicant.  Fees for these services are negotiated with the applicant and are determined based upon the funding sources in the project.  Responsibilities of the project administrator include working closely with the applicant in providing the overall supervision of the project which may include the following services as required by the funding agency: Maintaining Project Specific Documentation; Managing Procurement of Professional Services; Environmental Assessment; Acting as Liaison with Funding Agencies; Financial Management; Civil Rights Compliance; Labor Standards Compliance; Contract Review; Project Benefit Profile; Project Close-Out


A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that revel relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts. A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared. GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework.

Water & Sewage Planning

Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.

Hazard Mitigation

If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.

Comprehensive Planning

Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.

Tourism Development

Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.

Environmental Assessments

Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.

Public Administration

Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Reports

Transportation Prioritization Plans

East Kentucky Business Network - Economic Development Resource Guide

A listing of organizations that offer services to Entrepreneurs, startups, and existing organizations

regarding Development, Financial, Workforce, Training, and Support Services.