PRIDE Braces For Possible Cutbacks

By: Danielle Morgan Email
By: Danielle Morgan Email

Some parts southern and eastern Kentucky have drastically changed since PRIDE was formed nearly ten years ago.

Now, the federally funded agency is bracing for possible cut-backs after congress did not approve it's earmark for millions of dollars.

Nearly 28,000 homes now have access to sanitary waste water treatment, more than two thousand illegal dumps have been removed and hundreds of environmental educational programs are teaching kids to take PRIDE in their environment, but the future of all that is now unclear.

Last year congress only passed two of 12 appropriation bills leaving many earmarks without funding including agencies like PRIDE, but executive director, Richard Thomas says PRIDE is here to stay.

"We have about 9.6 million dollars in the pipeline right now for our programs, .we're doing fine, we're going to be around when the dust settles," Thomas said.

"There's some peripheral programs that we do, that are great environment things that we do, but we're going to tighten the belt around the edges and some of those will have to be not done away with, but if you will, the infrastructure will be there to jump start them back, if and when we get new funds," Thomas said.

Committee member Bob Mitchell says they hope to get more information when congress revisits the funding issues in February, .when they will either enact a new budget or pass another continuing resolution until October meaning PRIDE will have the same amount of money they spent the year before on programs.

"If our funding is reduced we will take steps to make sure pride stays around," Mitchell said.

Thomas says no decisions will be made on cut-backs for pride, until they know what the exact funding picture will be.


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