The Monroe County Fiscal Court continued discussion regarding acknowledgment of the ambulance service tax rate at its Oct. 17 meeting.

The fiscal court was prepared to acknowledge the ambulance service tax rate during a meeting in September, but the rate was questioned by County Attorney Wes Stephens.

It was during the September meeting that there was some confusion regarding whether or not the ambulance service was increasing the tax rate in order for it to generate 4 percent more tax revenue than what the tax rate had generated the previous year.

The fiscal court held off on acknowledging the setting of the tax rate until its Oct. 17 meeting.

The ambulance service's taxing board of directors voted to set the tax rates in order to receive 4 percent more revenue than what it received the prior year. But the tax rates are actually lower than what they were for the prior year and that is due to an increase in property values, said Brittany Welborn, county treasurer.

The new tax rates for the ambulance service are as follows: Real Estate, 7.0 cents per $100 of assessed value; 8.10 cents per $100 of assessed value for personal property; and 8.42 cents per $100 of assessed value for vehicle and watercraft, according to the meeting minutes.

In other business, the fiscal court voted to accept a proposal from Otis Elevator to replace an elevator traveling cable at a cost of $6,625.06; approved on second reading an amendment to the road and bridge fund to increase expenditures by $623,000; agreed to make a 25 percent down payment to Benchmark Construction for landscaping of the courthouse lawn in the amount of $12,815; agreed to hire Larry Lee Graves as a full-time road laborer at a rate of $12 per hour, effective Nov. 1; and to approve budget transfers; claims; and road advisory committee projects, according to meeting minutes.

Smiths Grove hires new police officer

The Smiths Grove City Commission voted during its Oct. 10 special-called meeting to hire Eddie Lindsey as a part-time police officer.

Lindsey, who previously worked for the Glasgow Police Department, will be taking over for retiring Smiths Grove police officer Greg Claywell, according to the meeting minutes.

Mayor David Stiffey explained that he had spoken with Police Chief Johnny Vance about Lindsey's pay and that it would be $15 per hour. Stiffey administered the oath of office to Lindsey. Present with Lindsey was his wife, Tammy, the meeting minutes said.

The city commission also approved an amended ordinance establishing an occupational tax with a vote of 2-1.

The city commission had approved on first reading an ordinance establishing a 1 percent occupational/net profits tax at its Sept. 23 meeting.

The mayor had told the Glasgow Daily Times in an earlier story that he was hoping establishing such a tax would keep the city from having to raise property taxes in the future, and that the revenue generated from the occupational tax cold be used to cover some of the city's extra expenses.

Smiths Grove votes to purchase Taser for police department, discusses firearm purchase

The Smiths Grove City Commission voted at its Sept. 23 meeting to purchase a new Taser for the city police department at a cost of about $1,000.

The decision was made after Police Chief Johnny Vance shared with city commissioners that the Taser used by Police Officer Greg Claywell needed to be replaced due to being out-of-date.

Vance also told city commissioners that he would like to have an extra Taser on stand-by in case it is needed, according to meeting minutes.

Vance also shared with city commissioners that the police department's service weapons need to be replaced in the near future. The average price for replacing the weapons is between $500 to $750 each.

The police officers currently use a Glock .40-caliber firearm. Vance recommended the city purchase a Glock 9 mm firearm to replace the current firearms due to the 9 mm having superior ammunition. He also recommended that all of the police officers carry the same type of weapon and that the purchase decision should be deferred to the new police chief, the meeting minutes said.

No action was taken to purchase new firearms for the police department.

The city commission met in closed session to discuss a personnel matter. After resuming its open meeting, an announcement was made that no action would be taken regarding what had been discussed in closed session.

In other business, the city commission voted to approve the treasurer's report for August; heard a report regarding the completion of a sidewalk along First Street and a report regarding Smiths Grove logo sign decals that will be put on when the weather cools; heard a report from Vance regarding use of the Warren County Sheriff's Office gun range on Oct. 15, if interested; had a report that the concrete for the trash Dumpster pad had been poured at the cemetery; heard a property all complaints have been addressed, except for one which was received on the day of the meeting; heard a report regarding the upcoming Smiths Grove Festival; approved on second reading an ordinance setting tax rates for motor vehicles and watercraft; and approved on second reading an ordinance setting the tax rates for real and tangible personal property, the meeting minutes said.

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