Martin County is not alone. Other local governments throughout the region are dealing with the same financial shortfalls. Sharp decreases in coal severance taxes have led to spending cuts and government staff reductions, according to the newspaper.
Coal tax money to local governments dropped from $34 million in 2012 to $6.7 million in fiscal year 2018.
Martin County residents will now have to depend on Kentucky State Police for emergency assistance, but the department is not that much better off with just one officer patrolling multiple counties, according to news reports.