Joe P. Asher
During a meeting of the Harlan Fiscal Court on Friday, questions concerning bills for the renovation of the Hall school building were discussed. The building is where the ChalleNGe Academy is located.
Magistrate Bill Moore inquired about the origination of the funds to pay bills for the renovation.
“I have a question on this. This is supposed to be multi-county money and we’re footing the bill every month for Hall for materials, for contractors. Are the other counties putting anything in this?” asked Moore.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop responded to Moore’s inquiry.
“Multi-county comes in one lump sum and then you submit,” stated Grieshop.
“I’m at a loss for what to say here,” stated Moore. “At one time the bills that we already had for Hall school is already $16,187.85. Now we’ve got another one for a contractor for $16,763…we’re sinking ourselves here guys,” stated Moore.
Magistrate David Kennedy made a motion to approve paying all the county’s bills with the exception of the bills coming in from the Hall school project. Moore seconded the motion.
Grieshop explained to the court the process for paying bills with multi-county funds.
“Bills are submitted. The funding comes in from the state and you draw down, but you have to pay it and then draw,” explained Grieshop.
Moore stated that he originally thought the county would only have to pay for the air conditioning and heat.
“That was the impression I got, that we were doing that and we were going to be done. Now $200,000 later, not counting the air conditioning and heat, $500,000 later, $1,500,000 or $2,000,000 later or whatever it is we’re still paying the bills out there. We can’t afford it,” stated Moore.
“We created 55 jobs out of this and it serves the children of this region and even beyond,” responded Grieshop. “It’s been a community effort. If you don’t understand the process I’m going to explain it to you. The bills come in. The monies come in and then they come together. The multi-county money comes in and we get the bills and we send in a draw down for those bills to be paid from that multi-county money.”
Kennedy asked Grieshop “what is the overall total cost as of right now on the Hall school project?”
Harlan County Treasurer Ryan Creech responded “Probably the best guess, I’d say we’re right at $1,400,000.”
Kennedy inquired how much of that money is actually coal severance money. Grieshop estimated that figure to be around $1,200,000.
“That’s not a bad investment if you look at the total amount of money put into that building versus the number of jobs and the people who are going to benefit from it as we move forward. The federal government is going to send in the $2,400,000 and the state is going to match that and it will provide an opportunity for our kids to turn our life around,” said Grieshop.
Kennedy’s motion to approve payment of all bills except those related to the Hall school project did not pass.
In other court activity:
* A motion was made and passed to approve payment of all bills and add ons;
* A resolution adopting the National Incident Management System was passed;
* A resolution to enter into an agreement with the Department for Local Government for assorted projects was passed.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com