Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Hosts Conference to Outline Coal Severance Process
Frankfort, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher today answered questions from coal county officials who gathered at conference sites in Frankfort, Prestonsburg and Madisonville regarding the awarding of coal severance funding.
“By vetoing the coal severance line-items, I have restored power to the county fiscal courts, allowing local leadership to decide what’s important to their citizens,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “This, being the original intent of the law, will promote more fiscally sound projects and ensure that communities will decide how the funds are spent.”
Governor Fletcher spoke directly with officials in Frankfort and via videoconference to officials in Prestonsburg and Madisonville. During the session, Governor Fletcher stressed the fact that the entire $100 million in the Single-County Coal Severance Program fund remains in tact. “Each and every county will receive their entire appropriation,” he said.
In the coming weeks, the Governor’s Office for Local Development staff will begin conducting training workshops for local officials. The purpose of the workshops is to make the grant process as smooth as possible so county officials can expeditiously reinvest coal severance dollars back into the communities.
“It’s important that local officials work with their state legislators in prioritizing their projects,” Governor Fletcher said. “Community and state leaders must work together to create a strategic vision for each of Kentucky’s communities. Many distressed communities in eastern Kentucky already have these plans in place thanks to Flex-E Grants funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission.”
Governor Fletcher also encouraged officials to work closely with the cities and special districts in their county in order to spend their funding wisely. Since its inception in 1992, the Single-County Coal Severance Program has reinvested approximately $220 million in local communities. Coal Severance Guidelines are available at www.gold.ky.gov.