County hears Soil Conservation District update

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The Harlan County Fiscal Court heard an update from the Harlan County Soil Conservation District during a special called meeting on Monday.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosely brought the topic up to the magistrates shortly after calling the meeting to order.

“Our friends are here today from the Harlan County Conservation District,” Mosley told the magistrates.

David Howard of the Harlan County Conservation District presented the report to the panel.

“We’re required to make an annual report of our activities,” Howard said. “Last year, we provided matching funds and grants, hired contractors and administered the installation of five septic systems. This past weekend, we partnered with Harlan County Solid Waste and assisted in collecting over 2,500 car and truck tires. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the county and Solid Waste employees for allowing us to partner on this project.”

Howard also reported approximately 600 trees were given away at Walmart as part of an annual tree giveaway to celebrate Earth Day.

“As you know, we do a lot of work to promote environmental education,” Howard said. “Our district provided grants and scholarships for local students of approximately $10,200. We also promoted environmental education by providing $2,145 for 150 children to attend the environmental education program at Pine Mountain Settlement School.”

Howard mentioned the Harlan County Soil Conservation District also provided materials for their annual art and writing contest, with winners from each school being awarded cash prizes.

“Our district also partnered with the (Harlan County) Extension Office, and we’re currently in the process of accepting applications for grants for agricultural projects throughout the county,” Howard said. “Those projects will total about $55,000.” Howard also provided an update on a project involving the Cumberland River.

“I want to update you on the river ramp project through the division of Abandoned Mine Lands to construct kayak and canoe ramps at several locations along the Cumberland River,” Howard said. “That project is currently in review by OSM. We’ve run into some issues with threatening endangered species.”

Howard explained that surveys must determine the project’s impact on approximately five different endangered species in the area.

“We’re in the process of procuring a biologist to go out and conduct those surveys,” Howard said.

Following Howard’s presentation, Mosley thanked the Harlan County Soil Conservation District members for their work.

“We certainly appreciate all you do throughout the year,” Mosley said.

In other Fiscal Court activity:

The Court received the Harlan County Extension District Board budget for 2023-2024.

A County Road Aid Cooperative Program Agreement for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2023, was approved.

The magistrates approved a memorandum of agreement between the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of the Governor, Department for Local Government, Office of State Grand and the Harlan County Fiscal Court to establish an agreement for election equipment.