OHIO CO., Ky. (WFIE) - The owners of three western Kentucky coal mines have filed for bankruptcy. Ohio-based “Murray Energy” filed for chapter eleven earlier this week. Centertown Kentucky depends on coal. So when news came out that Murray Energy is filing for bankruptcy, people started to worry.
“I do believe a lot of them are worried. But I do believe if something happens, they’ll be okay," said Centertown resident, Pam Jones.
Jones has lived in Centertown for decades. She says she’s seen things like this happen in the coal mining industry her whole life.
“This little town has always been used to having mines off and on throughout the years," said Jones.
Murray owns both Genesis and Midway Mines in Centertown. They employ more than 250 workers in Ohio County.
Ohio County Judge Executive, David Johnston says, now that the corporation is restructuring, he believes the changes will allow the company to continue operating.
The Judge-Executive says new regulations put in place the last few years have been hurting the coal industry.
“A lot of those regulations will be lifted in 2020," explains Johnston. "So therefore if they can hang on till then things will get much better for the coal industry. Therefore it will be better for Murray cole company as well as everybody else.”
As for the performance bonds Murray Energy owed to the state back in September, the Judge-Executive says they’re current on all the payments, at least with the county.
“The importance of coal to our county, it’s tremendous," says Johnston. "But more so anyone that works there, their job is so important to them that we would do anything we could to assist in preserving their jobs.”