The Harlan Fiscal Court heard an update on economic development in the county during a meeting on Tuesday.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley called on Harlan County Economic Development Director Larry Calhoun to bring the court up to speed.
“We received money for the website, we’re well on our way to having that completed,” Calhoun said. “The grant we received covered the majority of the cost for it.”
Calhoun added Harlan One, a group made up of local citizens, has donated money to aid in economic development.
“Their main mission is to market Harlan County,” Calhoun said. “They have come forward and given us $21,000 toward a marketing program to assist the county…They’ve actually changed their mission statement to help support the county and our economic development efforts.”
Calhoun said he meets with Harlan One on a regular basis.
“There are a lot things going on that we’re in the early processes of,” Calhoun said. “We’re also looking at some initiatives from tourism, some in conjunction with the state.”
Calhoun mentioned some avenues being considered in the Tri Cities area, including upgrading The Portal 31 mine exhibit, adding a rock climbing wall. He also mentioned the possibility of a birding trail.
“A birding trail would bring in a lot of revenue,” Calhoun said. “In the state I’m from, it’s a billion-dollar industry. You’ve got people who come in to look at specific birds carrying $2,000 cameras. It’s a big industry, and we’re working toward that.”
Mosley added such attractions would be a plus for area tourism.
In other court activity:
• The Harlan County Sheriff’s receipts for unmined coal were accepted;
• The court reflected the tax appeals board will be in session June 14, 15 and 16;
• Payment of tax appeal board members was approved;
• Renewal of health insurance for county employees was approved;
• The court approved switching the county’s dental and vision insurance to Anthem;
• Alliance Insurance was approved to begin open enrollment for Anthem dental and vision;
• A Samsung copier was declared surplus for use as a trade in on a new copier;
• Sheila Middleton was reappointed to the board of the Cawood Water District.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde