Whitesburg KY

Blackey wants funds

If all goes according to plan, the City of Blackey may one day be the home of a new community center, which will be located in the city park.

City Clerk Pauline Collins told the Blackey City Council she has spoken with 92nd District State Representative Ancil Smith, who said he would try to get funds for the center placed in the 2008 state budget. Collins said she had also spoken with the Blackey Improvement Committee, which would take over the day-to-day operation of the center as soon as it receives its “501- C3” – or non-profit – status. The designation is necessary to access many government funding programs.

Collins said she has looked into pre-constructed log houses which can be modified for about any purpose. She said the basic necessities for a center would be a kitchen, a common room, two locking rooms for office and storage, and restrooms. Mayor Cathy Back said she would also discuss the matter with District Four Magistrate Keith Adams. Back said a 30 by 60 foot space in the center of the city park would be sufficient for the center and would increase the use of the park and help with upkeep.

In other business, the council voted to approach the Letcher County Fiscal Court to make certain the city gets any and all coal severance funds which are due from the current allocations. Council member Betty Watts made a motion to pursue the funds and said the court’s generosity to other organizations should be matched by making sure Blackey gets what has been allocated.

“If they have $100,000 to give to the hospital, then we should get our money, too,” said Watts. “And you can quote me on that.”

City Clerk Collins also reported that the city is in sound financial condition with total assets of $33,796.93. Expenditures for July totaled $2,493.02 with an income of $15,376.06. Mayor Back asked the council to approve a resolution for the city to participate with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the Municipal Road Aid Bond Fund that will provide funding for road and street projects within city limits. Back also asked the council to approve re-doing city sidewalks and to look into ways to keep people from parking on them, which she said causes them to break. Both requests passed unanimously. Back said the city will advertise for bids for the sidewalk work.

Council member Danny Hall reported on his attendance at the recent Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) meeting and told the council that issues of “baby boomers” entering retirement were among the agenda items. Hall said the influx of the baby boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, into retirement has created problems and opportunities and he would like to take advantage for Blackey of any possible opportunities for assisted living projects and other opportunities to benefit senior citizens. Council member Martha Burns said rural areas are often left behind more densely populated locations when it comes to centers and other facilities to aid seniors, but need them just as badly as urban areas.

Mayor Back also reported the paperwork exchange with KRADD to recover city funds spent to renovate the Blackey Firehouse is just about complete. Back asked the council for advice on how to structure a required payment statement to City Attorney Will Collins of Whitesburg. Back said Collins has worked pro bono for the city for the six years he has represented it, but the KRADD paperwork requires a statement on how payment to the attorney handling the paperwork will be made. The council voted to offer Collins three percent of the total funds recovered from KRADD.

City Clerk Collins told the council that all preparations for Blackey Day are complete and portable restrooms have been ordered and trophies for the car show have been purchased. The council voted to make a donation of $75 to Calvary College for the use of its grounds and facilities for the car show which will take place from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday (August 11). The schedule of events for Blackey Day appears elsewhere in The Mountain Eagle.

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