It’s a drop in the bucket compared to previous years, but every little bit helps.

Breathitt County is one of 27 Eastern Kentucky counties who will get refunds from the Kentucky Department of Local Government (DLG), which will become available for those counties to use as needed. In this case, our county’s share of the money comes up to $36,504.56 – 11th on the list.

That word came from Frankfort last Thursday (Feb. 7) from Governor Matt Bevin’s office and the DLG, after they announced the return of more than $1.3 million to Single County Coal Severance accounts in the mountain counties. The recovered funds will be deposited by the DLG into accounts of the 27 counties, which range from $200,950.36 for Pike County to $4,556.81 in Pulaski County. 

Gov. Bevin said in a news release last Thursday, “Implementing fiscal responsibility within state government and emphasizing local priorities and decision-making remain keystone principles of our Administration. These funds will enable county leaders to address increased demands on their operating budgets and other vital community needs.”

DLG Commissioner Sandra K. Dunahoo added, “This is a huge win for county governments, many of which are experiencing increased demands on local budgets. …We are returning funds to the people who understand best how those funds should be used.”

It was noted back in September 2015 that $2 million was deducted from the 27 Eastern Kentucky coal counties’ accounts and directed toward the KCNA (Kentucky Communications Network Authority) for community broadband readiness and public computer access initiatives. According to the Governor’s Office, the KCNA was able to complete the work in a cost-effective manner for approximately $800,000. Gov. Bevin directed KCNA to return the balance of those funds, together with certain other ancillary funds to the contributing coal counties.

The amount of recovered funds each of the 27 counties will receive are as follows: Pike: $250,930.36; Harlan: $144,616.16; Perry: $122,583.22; Knott: $122,713.76; Letcher: $110,164.66; Leslie: $109,280.21; Martin: $102,686.82; Floyd: $64,713.39; Bell: $58,771.18; Magoffin: $40,543.93; Breathitt: $36,504.56; Morgan: $24,970.66; Clay: $22,717.29; Johnson: $21,582.26; Knox: $19,312.20; Wolfe: $17,526.20; Owsley: $17,259.13; Lawrence: $16,925.30; Whitley: $14,521.71; Elliott: $13,820.66; Lee: $11,433.76; Rockcastle: $10,565.79; Menifee: $9,280.54; Laurel: $7,194.09; Boyd: $6,409.58; Jackson: $5,725.22; and Pulaski: $4,556.81.