Layoffs To Affect Bourbon County Town

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 3/29/2013 6:25 pm
It was a quiet Good Friday at Joy Mining Machinery (known to townspeople as 'Stamler' for the products it creates) in Millersburg, KY.

For residents, it was a sign of what's to come.

Millersburg's mayor, Jonathan Ott, said the mining production plant announced it would be shutting down--they'll be laying off around 150 people.

"The town is very worried and we've put 'em on a prayer list. And yes--there is a good bit of anxiousness about Stamler's closing," said Dale Gatewood, the minister of Millersburg Baptist Church.

Ott more than jobs would be affected by the plant's shutting down production--the city's budget will take a hit. He estimated the blow to the budget to be around $100,000.

"Everyone will be affected. And there isn't any way to avoid that," said Sherry Snapp, owner of 'Yesterday's Treasures', an antique shop in town.

Carolyn Sears, Millersburg's city clerk, agreed.

She said both insurance premium taxes and payroll taxes will likely increase to be able to pay for the deficit. That means more money coming out of paychecks for those who live or work in town.

Many in town cared less about the money coming out of their wallets, instead focusing on the men and women soon without work to put it there.

"To just find a job...are they out there? You know...everyone's looking," said Ella Jo Bolton, who lives in Millersburg, "It's devastating to them."

But for Vance Reddick, who retired from Joy Mining Machinery four years ago, his faith on Good Friday was in his community.

"The city council and the people of the community need to get together, have some quarums; some meetings. To where people from the community can get together with the city council and discuss what's our future? What are we gonna do," he said.

Sears added there was good news among the bad: a GED program will be offered beginning April 18th at Millersburg City Hall for workers who didn't have the chance to finish their high school educations.

And, tentatively, a Family Dollar store will be coming to town, creating a few more jobs.
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