Fiscal Court Begins Cutbacks
By KAREN JONES CODY
The Knott Fiscal Court’s first regular meeting without Judge-Executive Randy Thompson was unusually lengthy, involved a number of detailed discussions, and ended with several motions designed to tighten up the county’s budget.
After the meeting was called to order, District One Magistrate Jamie Mosley was confirmed as presiding officer. He opened the session by asking, on behalf of the court, that a moment of silence be observed for those affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
The first agenda item was the second reading of a proposed one percent occupational tax. Mosley read through the description of the ordinance. County Attorney Tim Bates advised that it was time for a vote on the issue – it was unanimously opposed without discussion.
The court approved dispersal of $400,000 in coal severance funds to the Kentucky School of Craft. Treasurer Kevin Jacobs said he had the grant money and needed approval to release it. Jamie Mosley noted that the court is only a “go-between” to pass on the state funds to the school.
The court granted per- mission to Leeco, Inc., to use the right-of-way adjacent to Rowdy Hollow Road. Deputy Judge Greg Mullins explained that the road would not be disturbed as the company uses the land beside it in reclamation of a deep mine area.
Resolutions were presented for the 2013 annual order setting maximum amounts allowable for deputies and assistants, for both the county clerk and sheriff’s office; these were approved by the court.
Sheriff Dale Richardson submitted the 2013 budget for his office, noting it had been about the same since he became sheriff. District Four Magistrate Calvin Waddles asked, “how close the sheriff’s office would be” to run without the county’s assistance with fuel for their vehicles. “It would be very difficult,” Richardson responded. “Most of the time right now we only have one deputy out.
We ride with State Police troopers whenever possible. I know things are tight, but we are not out wasting gas.” The court accepted the sheriff’s budget.
Sheriff Richardson also asked the court to approve state advancement of funds to his office. Since the sheriff’s office is run through fees, it is common to have a period of time where funding is borrowed through KACO (at 0% interest) and then repaid when taxes are collected. “We appreciate the help the court gives us, but we couldn’t operate without this advance,” the sheriff explained. “It gives us money to make payroll and pay our bills. This has been necessary two of the three years I’ve been here.” The court approved the advancement, as well as the bond to insure it.
Members of the court voted unanimously to appoint Rick Prater to the Re…
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