WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (WEHT) The Dotiki Mine in Webster County, ended production today after nearly five decades in business.
It’s the latest setback to the Tri-State’s coal industry, which has experienced several mine closings in recent years. How does Webster county adapt to the lost production and tax revenue?
The work kept going at Dotiki Mine, on its last day of production. The activity happening at the mine today, may not be seen here for a while.
“It’s like actually losing family,” says Alan Hall, who has a nephew working at Dotiki. He says the end of production at the mine is a loss for towns near it.
“It’s the people that come out, kids get out here and they wave at them, and they take their hands and go like this, and they blow their horns at them. We actually love the people that come out to the mines,” Hall says.
Officials with Alliance Coal, whose subsidiary, Webster County Coal, runs Dotiki says the decision was made so the company can focus on other lower cost mines in the Illinois Basin. Workers and county officials say many of the mine workers can work at other Alliance coal mines.
Webster County Judge Executive Steve Henry says while the end of production will affect the county’s tax revenue, they have been making changes the past two years in their budget in preparation for it.
“It has a big impact on us,” says Ryan Hammack of the Webster County Industrial Development Authority. He also says the county is working to develop land it owns for other industries and it keeps working to attract other businesses to replace the lost jobs and the lost tax money from Dotiki.
“We’ve got several other properties that we own that we’re trying to develop. We’ve sold some in the last year and got some new industries coming and got some prospects of others coming in the future, hopefully. Just try to prepare ourselves,” Hammack says.
Alliance officials say once production stops, they’ll start reclaiming equipment and infrastructure at the mine.
(This story was originally published on August 16, 2019)