PRESTONSBURG – Floyd County senior citizen centers have been plagued with rumors of closings and program cuts. Board members and center directors met Wednesday at the Floyd County Fiscal Court to discuss issues and budget concerns.
“Coal production is down in Floyd County,” said Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale. “In the past, we had always relied heavily on coal severance money to fund the senior citizen centers. Rest assured that the senior citizen centers remain a top priority of the Fiscal Court. I was able to move some funds around and reallocate funds to ensure no centers will be closing and no programs will be cut.”
In the past, the general budget for operation of the senior citizen centers was $200,000 off the top of the county’s coal severance funds. With coal production down, the percent of money allocated to the county has dropped. The funds are made available each quarter. This year, funds allocated for the senior citizen centers were $66,000 for the first quarter, $37,000 for the second quarter, and $12,000 for the third quarter. Hale was able to reallocate additional funds of $75,000 to go toward the senior citizen centers ensuring the program would be close to being fully-funded for the remainder of the year.
In an effort to make up for any shortcomings and to ensure no programs were cut, the board agreed to have five centers go to a four-day workweek for the remainder of the fiscal year. Prestonsburg Senior Citizen Center will be the only center open five days a week at this time.
“No meals were served on Monday and all directors have enough vacation time to make up for this day,” said Maura Minix. “This action will result to a savings of over $4,100 for the senior citizen centers,”
Following Wednesday’s meeting, Floyd County senior citizens and the community can rest assured the senior citizen centers are in no danger of closing or losing any services at this time.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 794-0290.