Fiscal court approves $4.7 million budget

Posted June 26, 2019 at 8:24 am

Clinton Fiscal Court held a lengthy regular meeting last Thursday evening, June 20 with all members present. The court heard presentations, adopted the fiscal year budget and dealt with other items during the over one-hour session.

After approving claims and bills and fund transfers, the court heard an announcement from Kentucky Department of Transportation officials about discretionary road funds the county has received from the state. (A separate article on that announcement appears elsewhere this week.)

During the discussion with transportation officials, Clinton County Sheriff Jeff Vincent again questioned what the KYTC was doing to take heavy trucks off Poplar Mountain, which are now directed through that dangerous area by GPS.

The sheriff noted there had already been one fatality on that hill and his department was called there on numerous occasions because of loaded trucks being unable to make it up the hill and going off the road.

The state apparently cannot put up signs directing trucks away from that route but one official did note they were trying to work with Tennessee to put up signs to keep trucks on Hwy. 127 instead of taking that dangerous route.

David Bookout with D-TRAX, a company that provides inmate home incarceration monitoring and accessories, then made a presentation to the court, along with showing some of the devices the company uses, such as ankle bracelets, drug monitoring items, including “sweat packs” that are able to detect illegal drugs in the system, etc.

Bookout said that home incarceration was not used as much as it could be to keep inmates out of jails, but if utilized more for low-risk inmates, could reduce the cost of housing inmates at local detention centers.

Clinton County Attorney Michael Rains said that both district judges as well as himself were in favor of home incarceration over actual jail time when warranted. Court members also said they felt home incarceration should be used more as well.

Bookout estimated the cost around $960 per month to house an inmate for 30 days in jail, while home incarceration using ankle monitoring, etc. would cost only about $300 for the same period of time.

Following some discussion and questions by court members, magistrate Ray Marcum made a motion to draft a letter from the court to local judges requesting home incarceration be considered more often in cases where non-violent offenders were involved. The motion passed unanimously.

The court then voted unanimously to continue the same health coverage for county employees as last year, with Humana, with a cost increase of 2.5 percent with the same coverage as offered for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The court, on a motion by magistrate Gary Ferguson, voted to approve second reading and adoption the 2019-20 fiscal year budget of $4,716,179.

The motion passed 5-1 with Ferguson, Marcum, Terry Buster, Mickey Riddle and Johnny Russell voting in favor and magistrate Jerry Lowhorn voting against, saying he was opposed to a few people getting larger pay increases than others.

The general fund budget portion of the total for the upcoming year is estimated to be $1,176,304.34.

(A full copy of the county’s budget in available for public inspection in the county judge/executive’s office during normal business hours.)

In other business, the court:

* Approved annual standing orders to pay bills prior and make needed purchases prior to court action.

* Approved second reading of an ordinance pertaining to giving the Tourism Board full authority over Tourism Commission business, with the only county involvement being to receive monthly reports.

* Accepted the lone bid from Navitas as natural gas provider for the county.

* Heard a health statistics presentation from Shannon Beaty from the Lake Cumberland Health Department, with no action being required. (A similar report had also been given to Albany City Council earlier this month.)

* Voted unanimously to appoint April Speck tothe Tourism Commission board.

* Voted unanimously to hire Cindy Thrasher as part-time County Treasurer at $350.00 per week and transfer Tuesday Davis back to Finance Officer at $16.83 per hour, all effective July 1.

* Discussed a flooding situation in the area around the Piney Woods voting house with a resident in that area, Jeremy Fryman. The court opted to allow Fryman time to finish some work he was currently doing in that area and then look at ways to make repairs to the high water problems there.

The next regular meeting of Clinton Fiscal Court is scheduled for July 18 at 5 p.m. and is open to the general public.