Harlan County pushes to dissolve city

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

The population in Wallins has dwindled over the years. Now residents will soon be faced with a petition to dissolve the city.

In the most recent election, nobody ran for mayor.

"It is a city that is not acting as a city," said Joe Grieshop, Harlan County Judge-Executive.

It's got a city hall that hasn't seen much action in a while.

"You lose so much when you lose your city," said Charles Saylor.

County officials plan to ask residents to sign a petition to dissolve the city.

With enough signatures, the petition would then move to Circuit Court where a judge would decide its fate.

"A decision has to be made, so let the people of Wallins make that decision," said Grieshop.

"I think they should get it on the ballot and retain the city of Wallins. It's been here forever," said Saylor.

Saylor served as mayor more than a decade ago. He believes the city could come back with the county's help.

"They'd have to explain to them exactly what they'd have to do," said Saylor.

Most of the population left within the past few years, when the Army Corps of Engineers bought out home owners who lived in the flood plain.

Pieces of homes still remain.

"That changed the dynamics significantly," said Grieshop.

Grieshop said if the city is dissolved the county will receive thousands of dollars once allocated to Wallins.

For now, folks there will sit and wait for the next step.

"It just leaves it in limbo," said Grieshop.

"Wallins is my home," said Saylor.

Another option for dissolving the city involves asking citizens to vote on the matter. But Grieshop said that is almost impossible because so many people have moved away.


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