The contributions made by the local energy industry were highlighted last week as a ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted for the new Jay Avenue Bridge. Attending were town officials, special guests, and members of the public.
Special thanks were extended to Mountain Coal Company and West Elk Mine at Somerset for the tax and royalty payments it makes to the State Energy Impact Assistance Fund. Leslie Hentze of the Department of Local Affairs reminded attendees of the importance of the mine's payments to the fund which provided over $380,000 of the bridge replacement project's estimated $542,388 cost. It demonstrates "how important the energy industry is," Hentze said.
Jessica Wilczek of Mountain Coal Company said that the mine "is glad to give back" to the community. Town administrator Katie Sickles also singled out the mine for its contributions.
According to an advisory distributed at the event, "West Elk Mine currently employs 260. The operation contributes more than $18 million in taxes and royalties each year benefitting federal, state, and local governments including the Department of Local Affairs Energy Impact Assistance Fund."