TO BE PUBLISHED
Mr. Ken Hart
Kentucky Coal County Coalition, Inc.
400 Kings Daughters Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Re: County Economic Development Authorities.
AGO Corr. No. 93-(O)-43.
Dear Mr. Hart:
By letter of January 8, 1992 you indicate, in substance, that members of
your coalition want to know if a fiscal court has final approval authority regarding an
economic development project that has been recommended by a county economic
While we cannot provide an answer to your question that would be
clearly applicable to every fact situation, the general rule, in our view, is that a fiscal
court does not have final approval authority regarding an economic development
project recommended by a local industrial development authority. Discussion
Statutes now numbered as KRS 154.50-301 to 154.50-346 provide for the
creation, operation, and functions of entities known as local industrial development
authorities. In particular, KRS 154.50-316 provides:
(1) Any governmental unit by act of its legislative body may
establish a nonprofit industrial development authority to be
composed of six (6) members.
(2) The authority shall be a body politic and corporate with
the usual corporate attributes, and in its corporate name may
sue and be sued, contract and be contracted with and do all
things reasonable or necessary to effectively carry out the
duties prescribed by KRS 154.50-301 to 154.50-346.
The above language, in providing that an industrial development
authority shall be a "body politic and corporate," with the "usual corporate attributes,"
envisions an autonomous body, with its own powers.
KRS 154.50-316 establishes the relationship between a local industrial
development authority and a local legislative body such as a fiscal court. Typically
any review authority vested in the creating legislative body would be codified in such
statute. KRS 154.50-316, however, does not provide for the creating legislative body
to review actions of the unit it creates. We are not aware of any other statutory
provisions that so provide. Further, such authority would be inconsistent with the
intent of the statutes here involved. See Opinion of the Attorney General (OAG)
74-864, copy enclosed.
For the reasons indicated, we believe that a fiscal court does not have
general final approval authority regarding projects recommended by a local industrial
A given project, because of circumstances impinging upon a county,
might need fiscal court approval for those matters affecting the county. As far as
general final approval authority of a fiscal court over recommendations of a local
industrial development authority, we see none.
Gerard R. Gerhard
Assistant Attorney General