PRESTONSBURG — The Floyd County Fiscal Court passed a resolution on Friday which prioritized the spending of coal severance money for the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years.
While Floyd County was granted $2.7 million in coal severance money for 2013, it takes a sizable reduction in 2014 receiving only $1.7 million in allocated funds. The funding for 2013 is prioritized as follows:
- Veterans Cemetery - $75,000
- Floyd County Senior Citizens - $200,000
- Pride on the River - Harold Sewer Project - $100,000
- Purchase Work Trucks - $70,000
- All Floyd County Volunteer Fire Departments - $3,000 ea.
- DAV’s 169, 18, 128 and American Legion 283, VFW 5839 Martin Amvets Projects - $2,500
- WWII & Korean War monument - $15,000
- Garrett Park - $40,000
- Minnie Park - $10,000
- Mud Creek Park - $25,000
- Stone Crest Mountain Top Recreation Repairs - $200,000
- Elk Horn Park and ATV Trails - $12,500
- Highland Autistic School - $75,000
- Floyd County Drug Court - $50,000
- Floyd County Health Department Colon Screening - $25,000
- German Bridge Camp Grounds Barns - $25,000
- Floyd County Rescue Squad Building - $100,000
- Prestonsburg City Utility Station Branch Sewer Project - $100,000
- Left beaver Rescue Squad Building - $75,000
- Wayland Historical Society - $45,000
- Floyd County Sheriffs Patrol Car - $30,000
- Floyd County Fiscal Court- establish branch office in Left Beaver - $60,000
- Allen Park General Maintenance - $50,000
- Allen Park Recreation Building - $5,000
- Ball Park Improvements - $10,000
- Floyd County Rescue Squad Equipment/Operations - $25,000
- Floyd County Board of Education - Drift Park Concession Stands/Scoreboard - $15,000
- Floyd County board of Education - Academics/Athletics - $100,000
- Floyd County Fiscal Court - food pantry -$60,000
- Floyd County Fiscal Court - Floyd County ATV mapping trail development - $50,000
- City of Prestonsburg - Mountain Arts Center - $75,000
- Mountain Comprehensive Care Center Construction of Substance Abuse Center - $100,000
- Wheelwright - swimming pool -$10,000
- Wheelwright - sidewalks - $50,000
- Wayland - Wayland park - $2,500
- Floyd County Board of Education - Wheelwright Gym - $10,000
- Floyd County Fiscal Court - courthouse renovations - $100,000
- City of Prestonsburg - Parks and Recreation - $50,000
- City of Prestonsburg - Mountain Top Recreational Clubhouse Design/Repair - $50,000
- City of Prestonsburg - Clubhouse Core Drill, Engineering - $500,000
When asked about how coal severance dollars are allocated, court members deferred to legislators Greg Stumbo and Johnny Ray Harris. “We have very little input” said Magistrate Hattie Owens.
“It’s a good thing,” said Judge Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall, “but we don’t actually have any say in where it’s going.”
Owens asked her fellow court members if a resolution could be passed to have more say in the spending. “We can’t override the legislators,” said Deputy Judge-Executive Barry Davis.
According to Denise Thomas, with Big Sandy Area Development District, coal severance money was designed to create diversification from the coal industry. But she added that definition has never been specified.
“A lot of these projects do improve quality of life, which does create an economic impact,” said Thomas.
In the last two months, nearly 1,000 coal related jobs have been lost in the region.