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Library asks fiscal court for financial consultation

County also hears about impassable roads, wastewater violations, and car registration rules

By Jeremy D. Wells

Carter County Times

The Carter County Library Board addressed fiscal court on Monday night, thanking them for their contribution towards the replacement of the roof at the Grayson location. But, the board told the court, if their financial situation doesn’t change soon they’ll end the year more than $30,000 in debt. That’s without adding any new programs or materials to the library.

Library board chair Mindy Woods-Click told the court they have some ideas that they believe could put the library on more stable financial footing, but they would like to workshop those ideas with a committee of fiscal court members. Woods-Click and other members of the board said while neighboring counties have library tax bases that give them budgets which, in some cases, range into millions of dollars, the Carter County library system has struggled without a tax base to support their programs. That struggle has been especially hard since the state cut their share of funding for local library systems. That cut has left the local library entirely dependent on funding from the county and cities through an interlocal agreement.

In other public comments residents of Tara Court came to ask the court for assistance with grading and graveling their road, as well as assistance with sewage run-off and trash on a neighborhood property.

They said many of the road problems come from the water runoff from this property, which carves the road surface making it impassable to many vehicles without four-wheel drive.

Magistrate Chris Huddle said that while there are avenues to explore with the water and garbage problems, it was difficult for the county to do anything about the road because it is not part of the county road system.

Road department head Jason Carroll said they used to maintain the road, but haven’t done so, “in ten or twelve years.”

He said the maintenance stopped after complaints about the county doing work on the road.

Judge Executive Brandon Burton asked the residents if they had talked to solid waste or the health department about the other issues. The residents said they had, and Burton said that addressing those issues should be the first step the county took before any action to repair the road, because until the water issue was resolved any repairs to the road would simply wash out over time. It was also, he noted, an area that was not outside the county’s authority as a private road would be.

Magistrate Millard Cordle suggested moving forward with ditching or other work that could help with the water issues, so the road could be ready for future gravel and grading work when they could be approved.

County attorney Brian Bayes, however, advised the court against promising any work on the road unless it was taken into the county road system first.

In other action the court approved a hazard mitigation resolution, moved to begin the process of removing Railroad Bed Road from the county road system, accepted the sheriff’s quarterly report, the treasurer’s financial report, claims with add-ons, and transfers, and heard department reports.

In his jail report jailer R.W. Boggs asked the court to consider granting him permission to give all of his employee’s a $1.50 an hour across-the-board raise, to help with employee retention. He said while he would like to discuss even larger increases, especially since the money could come from jail funds rather than county money, he would like to do, “at least $1.50.”

Cordle made a motion to approve Boggs’ request, which died for lack of a second.

Huddle said that before court considered the raise, they should look more closely at the jail’s revenue and what possible impact that increase could have on their budget.

The court also approved a motion to advertise for a part time animal shelter employee to replace a part-time employee who recently left.

They also heard again from the county clerk, who urged them to contact their legislators and urge them to vote against a measure that would require all car registration renewals to be filed in theowner’s county of residence. Clerk Mike Johnston explained that the tax funds collected already must go to the county of residence, but that the clerk’s fees collected from filings of Rowan, Lewis, Elliott, and Boyd County residents who are closer to Grayson or Olive Hill stay in the county. It’s also more convenient for those residents who live near the county line, but closer to one of the two Carter County cities than to their own county seat, Johnston said.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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