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Tue Jul 2, 2013, 08:56 AM

Kentucky govt. diverts economic development funds from Appalachian counties for basketball arena

As if it isn't difficult enough to wean local Appalachian economies from a dependency on the coal industry, here's a blatant example of how the state govt. of Kentucky sabotages these efforts. I was so disgusted by this report I thought it worthy of posting to this forum. As an Appalachian born and bred, I am well aware of how the people and resources of Appalachia have been exploited and though we would all like to see a less coal-dependent economy (i.e., JOBS) in this region, it won't happen when the state diverts coal severance funds to renovate a basketball arena in Lexington.
The underlining below is mine.

Coal Report for June 19, 2013
http://www.wmmt.org/archives/6337

Many Kentucky coalfield county leaders are upset after the state announced that 2.5 million dollars of this year’s coal severance money will go toward renovations of Rupp Arena in Lexington. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that many coal-producing counties, which rely on coal severance money to provide basic services, are being forced to slash budgets this year due to falling local coal production, and Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne Rutherford, for one, called this plan a “raid on our coal severance funds for their project.” The Kentucky General Assembly decided last year that the 2.5 million for Rupp Arena would come from Local Government Economic Development Fund, a pot of money within the coal severance fund specifically meant to help coalfield counties diversify their local economies through helping build businesses not affiliated with coal. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, of Prestonsburg, defended the plan, saying “Though Rupp is not in the coalfields, many believe it plays an important role in the state because of the tradition of the University of Kentucky basketball program.” He also said he hopes to get this money replaced back into the Coal Severance Fund after it’s spent. But many coalfield leaders are still upset, including Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop, who said “I love UK basketball as much as anybody, but this wasn’t a good use of coal severance money.”

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Reply Kentucky govt. diverts economic development funds from Appalachian counties for basketball arena (Original post)
theHandpuppet Jul 2013 OP
theHandpuppet Jul 2013 #1
FarPoint Jul 2013 #2
tanyev Jul 2013 #3
markiv Jul 2013 #4
panader0 Jul 2013 #5

Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 09:00 AM

1. By the way...

Greg Stumbo, Kentucky House Speaker quoted in the article, is a Democrat. Can't our party do better than that?

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/legislator/h095.htm

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 09:33 AM

2. I would like to see a poster of Mitch McConnell

along side of that bill. Not that he is directly involved, but it makes good political play.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 09:50 AM

3. Let me guess--Rupp Arena is desperately in need of more luxury boxes.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 09:54 AM

4. basketball is a critical strategic development

 

because it involves bounce bounce bounce, then shoot into a basket

can you imagine a world, where people bounced bounced bounced a ball, then shot into a basket, with LESS glory? I cant, it's unthinkable to me

it's common sense that someone who can do this would earn a heavy multiple of the salary of a person who does brain surgury or walks on the moon (and my that I mean neil armstrong, not michael jackson - for those out there who know who armstrong was, a minor figure from the 1960s)

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 09:58 AM

5. K and R

I like college basketball, but this is ridiculous. I'll bet the now pro players that played for Kentucky could foot the bill for the renovation quite easily. Or the boosters. To take the funds from the coalfield counties is wrong, wrong.

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