Whitesburg KY
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Rec center, water projects get most of severance funds

Paying for construction of the Letcher County Recreation Center, which is now being built in Whitesburg, will dominate use of the county’s coal severance tax refund priorities for the next two years.

The Letcher Fiscal Court voted at a special meeting last week to allocate $1.2 million of expected severance tax refunds to service the debt for building the center. The money will be paid from allotments of $600,000 for each fiscal year.

Water and sewer composed the second largest piece of the county’s coal severance allotment with a single allocation of $1,053,000 for various projects for FY 2010-11. Parks and Recreation receives $240,000 for each year for a total of $480,000 and the three incorporated cities, Whitesburg, Jenkins, and Fleming Neon will receive $100,000 each for both years.

Each of the county’s fire departments will divide annual allotments of $200,000 and the Letcher County Sanitation Department will receive $200,000 for the biennium. Letcher County Tourism, which also funds festivals and other tourism related events throughout the county, will receive $75,000 each year and Community Centers will divide $50,000 each year. Senior Citizens Centers will receive $200,000 for each year of the two year period for maintenance, repairs and building needs, to be divided between the county’s Senior Centers, and the Fire Training Center located at Neon gets $100,000 for maintenance and upgrade in the first of the two years. The Boonefork Senior Citizens Center will receive an additional $100,000 for building and repairs in FY 2010-11.

A number of county agencies and non-profits received allotments of $50,000 or less, including $25,000 to the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department for each year of the biennium, $25,000 each year for the Planning Commission, $50,000 for the Little Shepherd Amphitheater for 2011-12, $50,000 for the Veteran’s Museum for 2011-12, $25,000 for equipment for the McRoberts Community Center for the second year, and $50,000 each year for the ARH Uncompensated Care Grant, for medical care provided by Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital for people who are unable to pay and who have no insurance. The Letcher County Health Department will receive $50,000 for Colon Cancer Screening Care in 2010-11, and the Letcher County Kids Day Committee was allotted $10,000 for each year.

Mountain Outreach receives $50,000 for building improvements in 2011-12, the Domestic Violence Center will get $50,000 for each year for operations and improvements, and the Letcher County Clerk’s Office receives $25,000 each year. Pine Mountain Search and Rescue will receive $25,000 for equipment, and the Letcher Fire Department will receive an allotment of $200,000 for a new fire truck, both in the current fiscal year.

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