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Finishing the road cleanup: Fiscal court discusses last steps, approves budget

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 Contractors working on storm debris cleanup on county roads are close to finishing their work. But before the county releases them from their contract, Judge Executive Mike Malone is asking magistrates to drive the roads in their districts and make sure all the work has been completed to their satisfaction. 

“We need to ride (the roads) and see what they look like before (the contractors are) released,” Malone said to the court, joining the meeting via teleconference along with magistrate Brandon Burton. 

Magistrate Donnie Oppenheimer told Malone he knew there was at least one more road in his district needing attention before he could sign off on the company’s work. 

The court also took action to approve their fiscal year 2022 (FY22) budget. That budget shows a total general fund revenue of $3,752,176.80 for the 2021-22 Budget, with total receipts of $3,097,090.23 after transfers and carryover. The $3,097,090.23 was used to make the total appropriations for the fiscal year. Those numbers included $25,000 in library expenses, $6,500 for animal control spay and neuter costs, and $50,000 for courthouse repairs.

The road fund has a total operating budget of $3,704,977.36 for the next fiscal year, with the largest portion coming as transfers into the budget – $1,375,000 – and the next largest portion – $1,278,167 – coming from county road aid. Just over $288,000 of that is earmarked for asphalt, almost $150,000 for gravel, and another $232,000 for other road materials. 

The jail fund has a total budget of $3,862,750. Local Government Economic Assistance has $818,100 raised through various grants and mineral tax revenue. E911 has a total budget of $449,636.58. The forestry fund has total revenues of $2,800, with a $16,000 carryover from the previous year for total appropriations of $18,800. Community Development Block Grant receipts and appropriations total $200,000. The insurance premium tax fund has $100,200. American Rescue Plan Act funds came to $5,207,003.00, with $5,205,003 of that from federal grants and $2,000 in interest. 

This gives the county, as a whole, an operating budget of $17,458,557.17 for FY22. 

In other action the court moved to approve claims and transfers as presented and discussed HVAC maintenance issues. 

The main problem with the HVAC system centers around the condensate pump, which needs regular maintenance. Malone explained that while the county was, overall, happy with their service, Perfection – the company currently servicing the county’s HVAC needs – was becoming cost prohibitive. He said the county has talked with another company, Alpha, which the county believes can perform maintenance on the condensate pumps at a significant cost savings. Among the differences is a straight hourly charge from Alpha, versus a minimum of eight hours charged by Perfection, no matter how much time they spend on site. 

Magistrates moved to approve a motion to terminate their current contract with Perfection, and approved a second motion to approve a new contract with Alpha, pending approval by the county attorney. Magistrates voted unanimously on both motions. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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