WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Groups vying for money for youth programs to prevent drug abuse

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Four years after receiving half a million dollars to go towards programs to prevent drug abuse among children, the Harlan County Fiscal Court still has not decided how to spend it.

The court system awarded the money in 2010 from two Tennessee doctors who pleaded guilty to drug charges.

Several groups are now vying for the money.

The Boys and Girls Club is one agency trying to get $500,000 the Harlan County Fiscal Court has for youth programs to prevent drug abuse.

"We've been helping children for 13 years and we do want to continue in that mission," said Kateena Haynes, Executive Director.

Four years ago, two Tennessee doctors pleaded guilty in connection to drug trafficking in Harlan County. As part of the plea deal, they gave $500,000 to the county for drug abuse prevention.

The fiscal court has not spent the money yet.

"We're still working on doing something that will reduce the likelihood of getting on drugs," said Joe Grieshop.

The original plans called for a water park but officials say that was too expensive. Now they are considering using the money at the Boys and Girls Club, the old Loyall pool, or horse trails.

"The key concern in the future will be can we put more money into it or can it be a program that can carry on its own once it's setup," said Grieshop.

The Fiscal Court deadlocked in a 3-3 vote on how to use the money. It is expected to come up again at next month's meeting.

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