By Greg Bird
In a short, 12-minute, meeting of the McCreary County Fiscal Court last week the court finalized actions to create the McCreary County Industrial Development Authority and Board in order to fulfill the requirements needed to obtain economic development funding from the state.
The Board was needed to capture the economic development funding authorized by the Kentucky Legislature this year through Tennessee Valley Authority in lieu of tax payments.
The new law created a pool of about $6 million that would be divided among 39 counties to be designated for economic development.
The previous law stipulated the in lieu of tax payments from the TVA was divided with 70 percent going to the 39 counties serviced by the utility, with the remaining 30 percent assigned to the State’s General Fund. The amendment ratified this year further divided the State’s portion by half, and created a special fund that would be disbursed among counties to be used for economic development.
In order to obtain a share of the funding from the Regional Development Agency Assistance Fund each Fiscal Court needed to designate an economic development board in the county to receive the payment. The board must use the funds for economic development and job creation, but can also leverage the money to serve as a local match for federal, state or private matching funds.
An estimated $150,000 could be added locally every year through the program.
Local businessman J.C. Egnew, who championed the creation of the Board at last month’s meeting where the ordinance was first introduced, said the Industrial Authority will be able to leverage the funding to obtain grants to help local business.
“This is a very fortuitous decision for a lot of businesses,” he said. “It opens the door for the county to act as a conduit for more grant opportunities.”
The seven individuals appointed to the Board are: Bill Singleton, Randy Kidd, Larry King, Boris Haynes, Steve Owens, Gordon Kidd and Jerry Stephens.
In other business the Fiscal Court approved three hires for EMS and Transportation and received clarification on requirements for entertainment businesses to operate in the county.
The next regular meeting of the Fiscal Court will be on Thursday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the Courthouse.