Fiscal court adopts budget after three votes

Posted June 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

County government officially has a budget in place for the 2013-14 fiscal year, but it literally took three separate votes–one to rescind a motion–to get the just under $4.9 million document passed prior to the June 30 deadline in which counties must have a budget in place.

All three votes associated with the budget at the fiscal court’s regular meeting on Thursday, June 20 were split votes, with one related vote coming early in the session and the latter two just prior to the meeting being adjourned.

The 5 p.m. meeting first saw five magistrates on hand, with Magistrate Hershell Key arriving at 5:10 p.m., after a few votes–including the one to approve second reading of the budget–was taken.

The court voted to approve claims and bills, the monthly treasurer’s report and fund transfers. But, when County Treasurer Dallas Sidwell presented the annual budget for second reading, Magistrate Patty Guinn voted to approve it, Magistrate Phillip Parrigin seconded the motion, but it failed on a 3-2 vote when magistrates Mickey Riddle, Ricky Craig and Terry Buster all voted no.

Late in the meeting, after the court had held an approximate 25-minute closed session on personnel but took no action, Magistrate Guinn made a motion to rescind her previous motion pertaining to the budget. That motion passed 5-1 with all members–including Magistrate Key who was now present–voting yes. Magistrate Craig again voted no. This basically put the budget situation on hold.

Prior to adjournment, Guinn again made a motion to approve the budget on second reading, again seconded by Parrigin, and this vote passed 5-1 with all voting no accept Craig, who quickly stated after the vote that his reason for voting no was because “we’re not talking about any kind of (spending) cuts,” he said.

The 2013-14 fiscal year budget, which goes into effect on July 1, includes similar numbers as the 2012-13 budget, including the jail budget of $586,000. Other major amounts in the budget is $946,000 in the general fund; $993,000 in the ambulance fund; and $320,000 in the 911 fund.

The road fund totals just over $1.1 million of the total budget, but the road fund is separate from other accounts and when any funds asre used from it during a fiscal year, they have to be returned to the road fund by the end of the fiscal year.

During first reading of the budget held earlier in June, Sidwell told the court that it was “practically the same as the current fiscal year budget.” Also during that meeting, the court approved the annual standing order to pay between meeting claims and bills such as postage, required court training, billing services and so forth.

[Other than the budget, the court opened proposals from area jails on the costs of housing Clinton inmates as well as several other items of business. A separate articles on the jail can be found beginning on page 1.]

Other fiscal court business

Clinton County Fiscal Court dealt with a wide array of issues as it closed out the current 2012-13 fiscal year at its monthly meeting held in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse last Thursday evening, June 20 with all members present.

Two items of main concern on the agenda were that of the new fiscal year budget and once again, the Clinton County Jail. Separate articles on each of those matters can be found beginnng on page 1.

Several general items of business were discussed and/or voted on by the court, including opening bids for road materials.

The court voted unanimously to evenly split the gravel, or stone bids between local companies, Albany Quarry and Gaddie-Shamrock. All other road materials were bid by Gaddie only, including chip and seal, hot mix, etc. and they were awarded bids on those materials. Albany Building Center was awarded the bids on metal tile.

Representatives from Medicacom Cable, including Lee Grassley, Senior Manager, Government Relations, also addressed the court about the cable company’s operations, upgrades and so forth and fielded questions (and complaints) from a few court members and members of the public after their presentation.

Apparently the company is operating on a month-to-month franchise with the county at this point.

Some complaints pertained to the quality of service provided by the cable company, the prices paid by customers for the services they offer, including under their “contracts” for service and “bundling,” as well as the fact that several areas in the county still don’t have access to cable TV because the company apparently maintains it isn’t economically feasible to run cable to isolated sections that do not have enough customers.

Grassley told those with complaints that all would be looked into, especially in the areas where some residents still don’t have cable access.

The court then revisited an earlier action that was taken to purchase two tractors for the county road department, at a cost of around $72,000 each. They decided to look into the matter again after it was learned the company they purchased the equipment from could not make delivery until August, almost after the primary mowing season is over.

Following a brief discussion last week, however, the court, on a motion by magistrate Ricky Craig, voted to go ahead and accept the bid on the tractors.

The court, on a motion by Magistrate Mickey Riddle, voted unanimously via resolution for Clinton County to be the lead entity for South Kentucky RECC to receive a $100,000 Energy Audit grant that will help assess energy saving measures in a multi-county area, including Clinton.

The RECC will administer the grant program at no cost to either of the counties involved.

Without necessity of a vote, the court was presented the annual budgets for the Lake Cumberland Area Development District and Industrial Development Authority.

They also voted to appoint Margaret Brown to the Clinton County Rec/Park Board and approved a two-year lease for office space in the Community Center for the Workforce Development Cabinet office.

Prior to the one-hour and 45-minute meeting being adjourned, Magistrate Terry Buster said he had received a complaint from a constituent about the local animal shelter not being open during the hours that it is advertised to be open.

Judge/Executive Lyle Huff discussed some aspects of the shelter operations and said he would check into the matter.

Due to the next regular meeting date falling on a day when magistrates will be in a required conference, a call meeting for the month of July will be set at a later date.