On Monday, Gov. Matt Bevin and his office announced in a statement that 49 counties and 122 municipalities that qualify will benefit from the allocation of more than $15 million in excess coal severance tax revenue, including more than $1.5 million coming back to Pike County.
“We are excited to announce more than $15 million in additional coal severance funding that will be returning to Kentucky counties and cities,” Bevin said in the statement. “I am grateful to our state legislators who helped us ensure that 100 percent of excess coal severance revenue is directed back to our local governments. These extra LGEA funds will enable cities and counties to bolster public safety, economic development, critical infrastructure, and other vital community needs.”
According to the statement, Pike County is estimated to receive more than $1.5 million in excess funds, which Pike Judge-Executive Ray Jones said in the statement will serve as “a shot in the arm.”
“At a time when many Eastern Kentucky counties are struggling, the allocation of this additional coal severance tax revenue will be a shot in the arm that will allow many fiscal courts to stabilize their county budgets,” Jones said. “The return of these funds by the Governor and the General Assembly will be instrumental in assisting Pike County and other local governments in meeting the needs in our communities.”
The City of Coal Run Village, the City of Pikeville and Elkhorn City are all among the 122 cities expected to benefit from the excess funds, as Coal Run is estimated to receive upwards of $28,000, Pikeville is estimated to receive more than $116,000 and Elkhorn City is estimated to receive more than $16,000, according to the statement.
According to the statement, the Local Government Economic Assistance Fund coal severance dollars can be used by local governments to address a number of priority needs such as: Public safety, environmental protection, public transportation, health, recreation, libraries and educational facilities, social services, industrial and economic development and workforce training.