Harlan, Bell counties to receive Coal Severance Funds

Bell and Harlan counties are included with 25 other eastern Kentucky counties sharing in the return of more than $1.3 million to the Single County Coal Severance accounts.

Harlan County is designated to receive $144,616.16 and Bell County will receive $58,771.18.

Gov. Matt Bevin and the Department for Local Government announced the amounts this week.

“I deeply appreciate the governor returning the coal severance funds to the county,” Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock said. “In the past Frankfort would have dumped it into the state’s general fund and we would have been none the wiser.

“As for the use of the funds, we are in the process of doing an energy efficiency and cost savings update on the old courthouse and the 58k will go directly to that project,” Brock said.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment on how the money would be spent there.

In making the announcement, Bevin said, “These funds will enable county leaders to address increased demands on their operating budgets and other vital community needs.”

DLG will deposit the recovered funds into the accounts for use in their counties.

“This is a huge win for county governments, many of which are experiencing increased demands on local budgets,” DLG Commissioner Sandra K. Dunahoo said. “We are returning funds to the people who understand best how these funds should be spent.”