The Harlan County Fiscal Court has been granted $152,000 by the Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.
The funds have been appropriated for snow and ice removal on county roads. Transportation officials said the Harlan County Road Department will be responsible for all phases of the work.
With the price of a ton of road salt now higher than a ton of coal, Harlan County Magistrate David Kennedy said receiving this aid is “definitely going to help the county.” He said the average price of a ton of salt is now $123 per ton.
“Last year the county spent over $100,000 just on salt,” said Kennedy. “That’s a lot of money. So, you can see this $152,000 we received is really going to help us, especially with the economy the way it is — with the coal severance money shrinking. Anything we can get right now is just a blessing to the county.”
Harlan County Road Department Supervisor Marvin Goins said the county currently has approximately 800 tons of road salt on hand. He said last winter his department used approximately 1,600 tons of salt.
“These funds from the Transportation Cabinet are a blessing,” said Goins. “The county can sure use it. We’re deeply appreciative to our state officials for awarding the county this $152,000 to help with snow and ice removal for the upcoming winter months. Hopefully, this winter will not be as bad as the last winter we had.”
The Department of Rural and Municipal Aid frequently dispatches funds directly to city and county governments in an effort to improve routes which are not state-owned, but tie into the state system.
“We are happy to partner with local governments to improve highway access for the citizens of Harlan County and all of District 11,” said Sherri Chappell, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 11, which includes Jackson, Laurel, Clay, Leslie, Whitley, Knox, Bell and Harlan counties.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde