State budget includes funding for Perry County
by Bailey Richards
After the close of the special session of the General Assembly, the final piece of the state budget for 2012-2014 was passed. The money allocated for Perry County by lawmakers is now official and can be counted on for future projects.
The state budget had some difficulty after having several line items vetoed by Governor Steve Beshear, which caused the General Assembly to pass a bill in the regular session without knowing exactly what all of the money was going toward. However, when all was finalized a clearer picture of where the Commonwealth’s money was going over the next two years began to appear.
For Perry County the state budget outlines where coal severance tax money collected for the single county funds would go. For 2012 through 2014, Perry County will have millions of dollars allocated for projects, according to the budget.
In 2012-14 the cities of Buckhorn, Hazard, and Vicco will all receive $100,000 annually.
Coal severance will also go to help several non-profit organizations such as $75,000 to Community Ministries each year. Another non-profit receiving coal severance is the Care Cottage, which works with victims of abuse. They will get $60,000 annually. Additionally, the homeless shelter and the Little Flower Clinic will both receive $50,000 annually.
Perry County law enforcement agencies will also be receiving coal severance money in 2012-14. The sheriff’s office has $100,000 allocated for the next two years and the Perry County Police Department will get $50,000. Other emergency services receiving coal severance are the 911 center, which will receive $155,000 annually, and $120,000 is set aside for fire departments.
The schools in Perry County will also receive some funding from coal severance. Perry County Schools will receive $275,000 per year, and Hazard Independent will receive $225,000. The University Center of the Mountains will also receive $250,000.
Additional money has been allocated for Hazard Perry County Tourism, Hospice, recycling, park improvements, the Challenger Center, animal shelter, drug court, and the airport.
Much of the rest of the money will go toward water projects, including sanitation. The North Perry water projects will receive $250,000 per year. South Perry water projects will receive $500,000.
Along with these projects to expand water lines a project in Chavies is looking to remove waste. The Chavies sewer project is being allocated $400,000 per year.
However, by far the bulk of the 2012-14 Coal Severance money in Perry County will go toward road maintenance. Over $1 million will be given annually to road maintenance in the county.
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