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Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Fiscal Court looks to the future

Approves jail grant, passes FEMA resolution

By Jeremy D. Wells

Carter County Times

Carter County Fiscal Court met in special session last Thursday to adopt a trio of resolutions and approve other routine items.

In addition to adopting a resolution approving the acceptance of a jail arraignment equipment grant (see “County receives video arraignment grant” in this edition) the court adopted a FEMA resolution approving the county’s participation in a disaster mitigation plan developed by the FIVCO area development district.

The elements of the FIVCO plan, which lay out procedures for responding to and documenting clean up costs of natural disasters, are necessary for the county to remain eligible for future FEMA reimbursements.

Those FEMA reimbursements helped lead to another discussion topic on Thursday – the creation of a rainy day fund.

The way FEMA help often works, magistrate Harley Rayburn noted, is that the county is responsible for paying for the cleanup or repair work. Then they’ll be eligible for reimbursement from the federal agency, but only if the correct procedures are followed and properly documented.

In the past the county has covered these expenses by moving money around in the budget and by taking out loans from the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) that were paid off with FEMA funds once they were received.

Rayburn, however, suggested the county needed to look at the creation of a rainy day fund. Money put aside in the fund, he suggested, could be earmarked specifically for paying these emergency costs and then repaid with those FEMA funds when they are received.

Judge executive Brandon Burton said the county hasn’t had the funds available to create such a fund in the past, but that with the jail paid off, it is something the county could consider in the future. He reminded Rayburn that the court had already allocated the remaining funds from the insurance premium tax for road repairs. But, he said, that didn’t mean the court couldn’t look at reallocating some of those funds when preparing their budget for the next fiscal year.

The court moved in March to reduce the insurance tax from 9 percent to 6.5 percent, with the entire surplus earmarked for road repairs.

In other action the court moved to approve claims and transfers, approve the second reading of the FY 23/24 budget, and adopt a resolution approving Juneteenth (June 19) as a federal and state recognized holiday for all county staff.

The county first approved a measure recognizing Juneteenth last year. The resolution adopted this year makes that recognition permanent.

The court also moved to accept bids on sheriff surplus sales, accepting the high bids from John Wilburn, who bid from $300 to $500 each on the vehicles offered for sale.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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