Members of the Logan County shared their thoughts with regard to the recent layoffs and cutbacks in the coal industry during a meeting held yesterday afternoon.
Commission President Danny Godby expressed his concern about the possibility of helping people in need becoming more difficult.
“I really don’t think a lot of people understand the importance of coal and how it does benefit our county. Coal touches everything we do here,” said Godby.
He explained that contributions to youth organizations or money spent on projects to benefit communities come from coal in the form of severance taxes or general accounting. When the coal industry is thriving, money is available to help people. If that primary source of revenue disappears, so do the resources it provides.
Commissioner Danny Ellis echoed concerns about funding for projects and programs the commission has supported for many years.
“We are going to have to brace for what may happen and the fact that we may not be able to fund these things at the same level,” he said.
The fact that many local vendors provide supplies and services to coal companies in Kentucky was an issue discussed by Commissioner Willie Akers.
“Some people have said that all the layoffs announced for mines in Kentucky and it won’t affect us. The fact is a lot of our people do business in Kentucky, so it is something for us to worry about,” he said
The commissioners, Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti and Man Mayor Jim Blevins and other local leaders encourage involvement and support for the coal industry, which is the heritage and economic backbone of West Virginia.