At last week's city council meeting, the mayor of Paintsville announced reducing hours for full time city employees and two layoffs. Since then, some things have changed.
The mayor of Paintsville is working to deal with budget woes and has been able to avoid one of the two layoffs scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1.
“Some person from the sanitation department left so we were able to bring back one of those to replace that person,” said Bob Porter.
While hours will still be cut for some city employees, there is hope that will change in the future.
The Midway College of Pharmacy, set to open in February is something the mayor said will boost the economy. It will be located within the city limits and bring students and staff to the city to spend money.
“We are talking millions of dollars in payroll that will add to the occupational taxes of the city and to the revenue of the city, plus we expect other residual benefits,” Porter said.
The mayor said he is hopeful that will increase traffic and revenue when it opens in February.
“That's the beautiful thing money wise - that when they get their four years enrolled the will have all 320 students and they will all be new to the city of Paintsville,” said Porter.
“All the money that the folks spend in the city, they will be bringing it with them.”
College staff members said that the impact will be great for the local economy.
“It’s bringing jobs to the area plus those faculty and staff members will be living throughout the region, eating here, shopping here, and becoming members of the community which will have a very positive impact for the region,” said Emily Coleman, PhD., Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
Coleman said that 55 percent of the students are from the eastern Kentucky region.
“We are very excited to be able to get those students infused back into the community,” said Coleman.
Porter said that the school currently employs 26 individuals and will eventually have jobs for 80 to 100 people. He said the jobs are high-paying, comparable to other ones in the field.
Porter says that the city is planning on opening up things like clothing stores to help keep the money local. The school enrolls 80 students per year and will have enrolled 320 students by its first graduation in four years.
The mayor added that even though the reduced hours will remain steady for now, he is going to remain positive that the city will pull through.
"We will not get rid of services," said Porter.