Another round of who should get how much of the $500,000 funds, set aside in a Harlan Circuit Court order four years ago for drug prevention and facilities for youth, came to a stall during a special called meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court on Tuesday.
With a packed courtroom, several organizations were on hand to ask for the funds including the Harlan County Recreation Committee, representing the Loyall swimming pool project, Meridzo Ministries and the Harlan Boys and Girls Club.
The Harlan County Recreation Committee, appointed by fiscal court and represented by Charlie Powers, suggested the funds be used to update and enclose the old Loyall swimming pool and use the adjoining building, which houses an indoor basketball court, kitchen, apartments and outdoor basketball court and playground, to conduct drug prevention mentoring. Powers, said at a cost of $333,000 the pool can be brought up to state code and with $83,000 the pool can be enclosed so that it can be used year round.
Lonnie Riley, director of Meridzo Ministries, who now leases the old Putney ranger station from the county, suggested the funds be used for horse and walking trails there at the old station, while hosting camps for youth to mentor them on drug prevention.
Harlan Boys and Girls Club board member Tommie Saragas asked that the funds be used to build an addition onto their present facility in the Fairview section of Harlan. She said the addition would be a gymnasium-type structure. She added the Boys and Girls Club already offers drug prevention programs.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop, once again, asked that the funds be used “as a leverage” in obtaining grants through the Promise Zone initiative.
After a lengthy discussion, a motion was made and approved to split the $500,000 giving $250,000 to the Loyall swimming pool project and $250,000 to Meridzo Ministries for horse and walking trails at the old Putney ranger station. A roll call vote was taken where magistrates Bill Moore and Jim Roddy voted no and magistrates Jonathan Pope, David Kennedy and Delbert Stephens voted yes. Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop cast the deciding vote, which was no. The issue was once again tabled until the next meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court.
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, or on Twitter @Nola_hde