Fiscal court sets tax rates, discusses Veterans Museum

Posted August 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Clinton County Fiscal Court set the annual tax rate and discussed the feasibility and possible locations for a proposed Veterans Memorial for the county at its regular meeting last Thursday, August 16 with all members present.

The meeting only lasted about 20 minutes, but several issues were covered, including taxes, roads and the Veterans Memorial project.

The court first accepted the monthly treasurer’s report, approved fund transfers and voted to pay claims and bills.

After accepting the library tax rates and the IDA (Industrial Authority) budget as presented, the county voted to set the county tax rate for the 2018-19 year.

On a motion by Magistrate Hershell Key and with no further discussion, the court voted unanimously to keep the same compensating rate as in the past several years, at 6.5 cents per $100 assessed value on real estate and 7.8 cents per $100 value on personal property.

After the court voted to approve a Senior Citizens Center agreement, they dealt with second reading of a county road petition, that being Franklin Road in the fifth magisterial district.

Magistrate Key made a motion to approve second reading to adopt the road, which resulted in a three-three tie, with judge/executive Richard Armstrong breaking the tie, passing the measure by a 4-3 vote.

Other than Key, magistrates Terry Buster and Johnny Russell also voted yes, while magistrates Mickey Riddle, Ricky Craig and Patty Guinn voted no.

Magistrates Riddle and Craig said they felt the road in question was part of a “subdivision,” but Buster said the road only led to the subdivision was not physically included as being in the county road system for upkeep.

Also, magistrate Russell presented another road petition off the George Sloan Road in south Albany and the court appointed Russell, magistrate Key and Clinton County Road Foreman Michael Craig as viewers to begin the process of adopting the road.

Judge Armstrong then discussed the Veterans Memorial Museum project with court members and some members of the audience who were in attendance.

Judge Armstrong recommended that a board be appointed to study the proposal, including finding the best suitable location for such a museum.

Gib Beaty, who is a leading proponent of the establishment of such a museum to honor all Clinton County Veterans, said he felt the conference room in the front portion of the IDA-Welcome Center, would be a prime location for such a project.

Beaty said the room was 30×40 feet, or 1,200 square feet and he felt would be an ideal location and would not interfere with the Industrial Authority itself, which operates offices at the rear of the building.

Although all court members were totally in favor of establishing a veterans museum, some questioned not only the location, but the legality of putting the museum at the IDA center.

Magistrate Mickey Riddle, in noting he was in favor of the project, questioned exactly who owned the building and said legal questions needed to be answered on that issue as well. He also indicated the single conference room may not be large enough for such a museum, especially for future growth.

Riddle suggested the county attorney’s office look into the legal aspect of the IDA Center facility, and judge Armstrong also noted there were other possible locations, but also asked assistant county attorney Gary Little, who was at the meeting, to also check into the issue.

Additional information on the proposed project will be gathered and the issue may be discussed again at the court’s next regular meeting, which is scheduled for September 20 at 5 p.m. and is open to the public.