The Harlan County Industrial Development Authority has applied for a $2.5 million grant for a proposed wood pellet producing facility.
Chairman Harry Gibson called the meeting to order and brought the panel up to speed on the grant proposal.
“On July 6, I filed with Bob Scott from the division of Abandoned Mine Land,” Gibson said. “I filed an application asking for an infrastructure grant.”
Gibson explained the grant would be for the funding of infrastructure for the purpose of a new alternate energy manufacturing center for Harlan County.
“The IDA is requesting $2,525,000 from the Kentucky Abandoned Mine Land Program,” Gibson said. “This will be used to leverage an addition $10,500,000 in private investments…this partnership will result in 30 to 35 new jobs in the plant and approximately 60 new indirect jobs outside the plant, and represents an important component of the counties efforts to restructure its coal based economy.”
According to Gibson, the proposed wood pellet facility would manufacture the product in Harlan, put on rail in Loyall and transported to a port in another state to be shipped overseas.
“They have a market over there for the product,” Gibson said.
According to Gibson, wood pellets are burned in pellet stoves and can be used to heat homes or other structures. Tractor Supply’s website lists pellet stoves available for purchase, as well as wood pellet fuel.
Gibson said he hopes to have an answer on the grant application in a few weeks.
The authority also discussed commissioning an audit for past fiscal years.
“I have been meeting for quite a while with Chris Gooch, he is a CPA in Hazard,” Gibson said. “He has agreed to do our audit. He is in the process of doing it right now.”
Gibson said the fee for the audit is expected to be in the range of $4,500 to $4,900.
“It will be an audit for the 2014-2015 fiscal year and the 2015-2016 fiscal year,” Gibson said. “That will get our audits all up and above board.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @[email protected]