Coal Severance Money Awarded to Community Foundation

The Henderson Community Foundation’s bank account is now about $1 million with the addition of $100,000 in coal severance tax money Tuesday.

State Sen. Dorsey Ridley presented the check to Henderson Fiscal Court at its regular meeting, and Judge-executive Hugh McCormick, in giving Ridley the credit, noted “money is tight now in coal severance and it’s hard to get any projects done.”

“I believe it’s the job of our local leaders to kind of spearhead this effort of the community foundation, to show the rest of the community that it is a viable thing,” Ridley said. “It’s something that will leave a legacy that will help future generations of Henderson County. It’s a great investment. And it’s just the right thing to do.”

Foundation founder Chase Fulcher was there to accept the money, and he thanked both Ridley and McCormick. “Actions speak louder than words,” he said, noting both men have given individually to the foundation.

“About $900,000 is already in the account, not counting this,” Fulcher said, and with pledges the foundation has raised nearly $1.7 million. One of the ways the money will be used is provide matching funds so local charities can set up endowments.

“We’ve got really big plans for the future with this. This is a really great day for Henderson. We should have had one of these 20 years ago.”

Other matters before fiscal court on Tuesday included:

Archery range: County Engineer Bill Hubiak notified the court that the county has been approved for $50,000 from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will be used to convert about 40 or 50 acres at the Sandy Watkins Park into an outdoor archery range, with three-dimensional targets representing game animals. Other improvements will include parking, restrooms and possibly a pavilion, all of which would be open to general use at the park.

Mine reclamation: Hubiak reported that reclamation of Patriot Coal’s shut-down surface mine is proceeding according to plan, although “I can’t say they’re on schedule” because the weather has been uncooperative. He also noted that Patriot has relinquished all of its land leases, which indicates the mines will not re-open.

Patriot bankruptcy: The court passed a resolution in which it expressed support for the United Mine Workers, which asks that Patriot Coal, Peabody Coal and Arch Coal not strip active, retired or laid-off miners of their health care and pension benefits through the Patriot bankruptcy proceedings.

Dixon Road: Hubiak reported that the Dixon Road No. 1 bridge is now in place, although wing walls have yet to be installed and the re-alignment of the road must wait for the weather to improve.

Rescue squad: The court approved a resolution affiliating itself with the Henderson City-County Rescue Squad, which it does every year.

Judge’s scholar: Zackery M. Rickard, a third-grader at East Heights Elementary School, was honored by the court.

Business leaders: The court passed a resolution naming Future Business Leaders of America Week, which marks the first time the local chapter has been honored by the court, President Nikoli Williams said.

Wood chipper: The court agreed to buy a wood chipper from the Newburgh firm of Vermeer of Indiana for $28,496, which was the only bid submitted.

via The Gleaner