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Calls needed to keep college money in budget

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By The Staff

    FRANKFORT - It's been a battle and the war has yet to be won.

    But at this stage, it appears Bullitt County's quest to have a community college is in the running for over $1.7 million for the planning and design stage for its campus off Highway 245.

    However, state Rep. Linda Belcher said the work is not complete. In fact, there is still much to be done and the citizens of Bullitt County are being asked to assist.

    The funds were not originally in the House version of the state budget.

    Belcher said a lot of people have made trips to Frankfort, as well as a lot of phone calls and e-mails.

    As a result of the work and the foresight of party leadership, Belcher said the money was placed in the House budget version, which is now being considered by the state Senate.

    "This must be a unified Bullitt County effort," said Belcher.

    Donna Miller, who leads the Bullitt County temporary Jefferson Community and Technical College campus off Buffalo Run Road, said local officials have been lobbying for the past four months to have the design and planning funds to be placed in the budget.

    "This is a critical time," Miller said of the budget process. "We have to get this through the Senate. The next two weeks are critical."

    Miller praised the work of Belcher in even getting the money placed into the House budget.

    "She's been a champion," said Miller.

    Belcher said it has been a team effort. Now, she is asking for the team to include all Bullitt Countians, no matter the party affiliation.

    She encouraged e-mails and phone messages to show your support for the college to Sen. Gary Tapp, Sen. David Williams, Sen. Ernie Harris and Sen. Bob Leeper.

    To reach these senators, go to www.lrc.ky.gov and there is a place to e-mail the legislators. You can leave a message by calling toll-free at 1-800-372-7181.

    Belcher said Tapp had been very important in his role in the Senate. While supportive, she said the phone calls and e-mails should be sent to Tapp, Williams, Harris and Leeper as soon as possible.

    "Anything can be changed," said Belcher.

    Bullitt County government agreed to lease 40 acres for the college at the northwest corner of Interstate 65 and Highway 245.