State Senator addresses fiscal court

Published 12:10 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Harlan County Fiscal Court heard from Kentucky State Sen. Johnie Turner during the court’s recent regular session for November. Turner informed the magistrates of some projects he has been involved in that impact Harlan County.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley introduced Turner early in the meeting.

“My purpose for being here is to talk about the projects we’re doing for the roads,” Turner said. “The biggest thing that I do as a senator is we get the last call about where the road money goes for federal highways, which is U.S. 119 and U.S. 421 in Harlan County.”

Turner mentioned a project planned for U.S. 421 near the Kentucky/Virginia state line.

“They had that planned and had to add some money to it because they had that plan to start with three lanes at the curve,” Turner said. “I said no, we’re going to start that three lanes at the bottom of that hill so trucks can get a running go and go all the way up.”

Turner has also been working on a long-standing issue with KY 72 that is inaccessible from Liggett to Pathfork.

“We have put funding in to do 72, which should come out in Pathfork,” Turner said. “They’ve got that blocked at Pathfork by a coal company that keeps a gate on it…we’ve got that in the works.”

Turner said they will be assessing state roads in Harlan County soon. He also explained state and county roads are not one and the same.

“I want the public to understand that’s a whole different funding process,” Turner said. “We’re trying to put more money in eastern Kentucky.”

Turner suggested if anyone has information on issues within Harlan County to contact the Harlan County Judge-Executive’s office.

“I’m a phone call away,” Turner said. “Just whenever it involves the county, (send) it through the (Harlan County Judge-Executive) so we’re all on the same page.”

Turner mentioned he also works on issues unrelated to roads.

“I spent three hours yesterday helping a Black Lung Association group in Whitesburg,” Turner said. “I gave my opinions on black lung before I went to the Fiscal Court meeting.”

Mosley noted the state legislature will be back in session on Jan. 2.

“It’s a full session,” Turner said. “We may get one day off a week during that time…we accomplished a lot last time. We’re still working on some problems.”

After further discussion, Turner thanked the magistrates for their time before leaving for another appointment.