Barren County Fiscal Court approved Tuesday the second of two required readings of its ordinance adopting the proposed $13.1 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
No one spoke during the public hearing for the budget, which was just prior to the 7-0 vote, and just as during the first reading, no fiscal court members commented or asked questions. District 4 Magistrate Chris Steward was not present at the time the item was on the agenda; he arrived afterward.
The overall budget is $37,401 less than the budget that was passed about this time last year, although additional revenues have since been added to the 2013-14 budget.
The budget does not specifically contain any amount for across-the-board raises for employees, but the court members had voiced approval in a budget work session in early May for department heads to provide pay increases based on merit if they have the money in their budgets, perhaps left over from other areas.
At least three department heads had already begun doing that, as the fiscal court gave final approval to some requested pay adjustments Tuesday.
“I’m glad to see you guys doing it that way,” said District 3 Magistrate Carl Dickerson, who had advocated for putting the authority with the individual departments.
The only thing that had changed after the working session was the removal of magistrates’ expense allowances, for which Kentucky statute allows $300 per month, or $3,600 per year, per magistrate. That cut was suggested by Steward and passed unanimously by the seven court members present at the special meeting.
The fiscal court also went into closed session for roughly half an hour to discuss pending or proposed litigation. Upon emerging from the session, Judge-Executive Davie Greer announced they had taken no action but had discussed two separate pieces of pending litigation. One was a lawsuit filed against the county, of which they were getting notified, she said. Regarding the other one, she said, the court members said they needed more time to consider the issue and would discuss it again next month.
After the meeting, she said the active lawsuit had been filed by a woman who slipped and fell on the courthouse property.
Former Barren County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Steve Runyon and attorney Christopher Davenport joined the fiscal court members for a portion of the closed session.
In other business before the closed session, the court also voted unanimously to:
• Pass second reading of an ordinance for an amendment for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which ends June 30, adding unbudgeted revenues from various sources totaling $350,702.
• Approve budget adjustments, totaling $171,610. Budget adjustments involve transferring monies already in the budget from one line item to another within the same fund.
• Acknowledge receipt of the budget for Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library, which totals $792,000.
BARREN COUNTY GOVERNMENT BUDGETS
FUND FY 2014 FY 2015
General $7,663,936 $7,776,728
Road $2,516,996 $2,435,796
Jail $2,114,130 $2,105,892
LGEA* $80,000 $0
Recreat. $141,053 $170,873
Misc.** $611,775 $601,200
TOTAL $13,127,890 $13,090,489
*Local Government Economic Assistance **Includes drug forfeiture, tax escrow, Hiseville Cemetery, Samson Street jail bonds public property corporation.