Whitley County’s three school systems will each receive $10,000 in coal severance funds.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Whitley County Fiscal Court the magistrates approved a resolution authorizing and transferring the coal severance funds to Corbin, Whitley County and Williamsburg Independent Schools.
Coal severance funds are tax money collected by the state. Half of the funds are then returned to the coal producing counties, with the respective fiscal courts directing how the money is to be used.
In the past, volunteer fire departments have each been allocated $5,000 in coal severance funds to purchase equipment.
Amber Owens, with Judge-executive Pat White, Jr.’s office, said unlike the fire departments, the school systems have not been required to provide the fiscal court with a detailed plan of what the money would be used for.
Corbin Superintendent Dave Cox and Whitley County Superintendent Scott Paul both said they were still working on a plan for the funds.
Williamsburg Superintendent Dr. Amon Couch said the funds would be combined with local money to purchase a smaller vehicle that would be used to transport some of the school’s smaller sports and activity teams to events and/or competitions.
“There are some teams that don’t require a full-size school bus,” Couch said pointing to the golf and academic teams as examples.
Couch said school officials are still researching the cost of such a vehicle and whether the funds could be used in that manner.
“That is what we are hoping we can use it for,” Couch said. “We want to maximize the benefit of those funds to the school district.”
Following the fiscal court’s approval, Owens said letters of approval from State Representative Regina Huff, R-Williamsburg, and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, who each represent Whitley County, are necessary before the funds may be transferred.
“Hopefully, we will have everything done within the next few weeks,” Owens said.