The company contracted for clean-up at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant has notified employees of impending layoffs of up to 145 workers.
LATA Environmental Services of Kentucky currently employs 320 people at the Paducah site. The cuts come from the federal sequester and a lack of funding from the Department of Energy, which contracted LATA for the clean-up.
Governor Steve Beshear has some harsh words for his congressional colleagues’ handling of sequestration in Washington, D.C. As the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration go into effect, Congress’ approval rating hovers at close to 15 percent. At a press conference Friday in Lexington, the governor made it clear where he stands.
Without a deal to stop sequestration, Fort Campbell’s garrison commander says the installation’s more than 8,000 civilian employees could face up to 22 unpaid days off this year. Col. David Dellinger says if all civilian employees go on that furlough, the cut would total $70 million. But he says that would take until the end of the fiscal year.
“No one will get furloughed without that individual getting a 30-day notice," he said. "As we look at this in timeliness, we’re looking at, you know, some 30-plus days before the first person will not show up to work or will be released an hour, two hours early, or however that is worked out with that individual.”
The control tower at Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah could be closed in the next few months if automatic federal budget cuts occur on March 1st. The Federal Aviation Administration would lose about $600 million dollars from the so-called "sequestration."
Kentucky First District Congressman Ed Whitfield (R) says he’s against closing off waters close to Cumberland River dams to boaters and fisherman. Army Corp of Engineers officials say the restrictions would include closing off 400 feet of water upstream and 700 downstream from Barkley Dam.
Congressman Whitfield says the enforcement changes are unnecessary. He says,
“There have been like three deaths since ’96 and there’s been one death at Barkley. The goal is no deaths. But there has not been any number of deaths or increase in dangerous activity or deaths to justify changing this management plan.”
The Corps of Engineers says the access restrictions are already part of their river management plan, but have not been enforced. Whitfield says he plans to meet with the head of the Corps early next month to request that they don't change the management plan and allow boaters to fish near the dams.
Western Kentucky school boards are joining a national campaign opposing federal funding cuts. Kentucky School Boards Association spokesman Brad Hughes says measures from the 2011 Budget Control Act set to go into effect in January would severely impact Title I, II, and special education funds. School boards in Murray and Lyon County have joined the opposition for what schools are calling “sequestration,” and Hughes says more are expected to sign on in the coming weeks.