Fiscal court: tax rates, roads, payroll

Posted September 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Clinton County Fiscal Court discussed several different issues at its regular meeting last Thursday evening, September 20 with all members present except magistrate Patty Guinn..

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

They also accepted tax rates for the local Health Department, Soil Conservation District and Clinton School District, on separate motions.

There was some confusion on the school district rates, as the court originally voted against accepting the rates on a three to two vote. However, it was explained that the county cannot set a taxing district rate, but only allow the rate to be added to the tax bills mailed out in the fall.

Eventually a motion was made to acknowledge receiving the rate in order for the school district taxes to be added onto the tax bills. That motion passed by unanimous vote.

The court then discussed FLEX rural aid road funds, as Clinton County Judge/Executive Richard Armstrong said the total amount received by the state that can be used was $115,000.

Magistrate Ricky Craig noted he wished to withdraw the road he had listed in his district, which was the highest expense, to allow the remaining five roads listed by his colleagues to be repaired with the funds.

County officials will now check with Transportation Department officials about how that process can work to best utilize the total funds available.

The court then approved a resolution, on a motion by magistrate Hershell Key, to accept Creek Side Drive into the county road system and on a motion by magistrate Johnny Russell, to continue the process of accepting Pleasant View Drive as a county roadway.

In continuing discussion on roads and road funding, the court unanimously approved an agreement and resolution to accept $186,000 in assistance for road work on Ky. Hwy. 558 in conjunction with the Marina at Rowena project.

Judge Armstrong said a recent meeting had been held with state officials where it was learned that Clinton and Russell counties would need to contribute $11,500 each toward the project. However, those funds will be reimbursed to each county, according to the judge.

Judge Armstrong noted this was for economic development and would be reimbursed through FLEX funds from the coming year and would be a show of support for the marina project to benefit both counties.

Judge Armstrong then made a recommendation to grant a quarter raise across the board to all county employees for the current fiscal year.

Magistrate Key, who noted the pay increase was already in the current budget, made the motion to grant the raises, which was seconded by magistrate Russell. The motion passed by a narrow 3-2 vote, with magistrate Terry Buster also voting yes and magistrates Mickey Riddle and Craig voting no.

Magistrate Riddle inferred he was having problems with the road department, saying in the Churntop area, which he represents, the road foreman had promised to clear some limbs, etc. but had instead pushed them into the ditchline. “I can’t get nothing done (in my district),” he said.

Magistrate Craig also noted his reason for the no vote, saying that after January 1 (following the upcoming election), there would be three new magistrates and a new county judge in office, saying “we should not put the burden on the next administration,” but letting them decide how the money in the budget should be spent.

Magistrate Buster said that this (pay raise) was done on a yearly basis.

Judge Armstrong also said he wished the road foreman could be there to defend himself, and then the vote was taken, with the measure to grant the raises to all employees passing by the 3-2 margin.

Emergency Services Director Lonnie Scott then addressed the court about the need for paramedics within the emergency services and requested the county pay for classes for a young lady taking paramedic training in exchange for her signing a three-year contract with the local EMS upon completion.

The cost would be about $2,500 and be paid directly to the school. The court voted unanimously to pay for the training in exchange for the person signing a three-year contract with the local EMS and if she leaves prior to that period, she would be responsible for paying the money back to the county.

The court then voted to appoint two members, Linda Barnett and Janie Gibson, to the Clinton County Public Library Board of Directors and voted to allow the local Industrial Development Authority to facilitate the use of state funding for economic development projects as part of an overall $2 million state grant spread out over Kentucky counties.

The court, along with local veteran Gilbert Beaty, again discussed the proposed Veterans Museum project, which had first been discussed last month.

An initial idea was possibly for the use of a portion of the IDA-Welcome Center to be used, but there has been some opposition to that. However, everyone involved feels the project is important and will eventually become a reality.

Magistrate Craig said there may be grant funds to help purchase a building and that other buildings may be available.

Judge Armstrong said, “A lot of people want it…a lot of people would make donations. I believe in my heart it’s gonna happen,” adding he appreciated Beaty’s devotion to the project, along with many others who support the effort.

The next regular meeting of Clinton Fiscal Court is scheduled for October 18, but may be changed due to that particular time being Foothills Festival weekend.