Cuts in coal severance funds affecting Harlan

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Associated Press

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 9:01 PM

HARLAN, Ky. (AP) — Officials in Harlan County are looking to make sharp spending cuts due to a decrease in the amount of coal severance funds expected next year.

The Harlan Daily Enterprise (http://bit.ly/Se67N5) reports that county officials called a special meeting Tuesday to discuss finances and rescinded an attempt to limit the spending of county agencies to $5,000 without approval from the Fiscal Court. Officials said the stipulation was interfering with operational purchases such as food for the jail, fuel and gravel.

They agreed to look instead for ways to make cuts in every district in the county.

Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop says the county needs to start watching its spending now or it will have "issues" in the future.

"We know for sure coal severance is going down and the county goes the way coal goes," said Grieshop. "There will be reductions and we will have to make adjustments. I just want to work smarter with our budget and make sure we don't go out here and have spending sprees that aren't necessary."

Harlan County Roads Supervisor Marvin Goins said he has already started using a computer program that keeps track of monthly spending in each district, which will help determine where cuts might be made.

Solid Waste Supervisor Lakis Mavinidis also suggested ways to save on garbage pickup.

"If we could organize this and pick up garbage in communities on the same day instead of going several times to one community, it will save a lot of money in several ways," said Mavinidis.

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Information from: Harlan Daily Enterprise, http://www.harlandaily.com

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