Jail Budget Increases By $24K, Much In Part To State Required Retirement Contributions
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court approved the 2018-19 jail budget at today's meeting in the amount of $429,410.00, which is just over a 6% increase from last year's number of $404,750.
The amount has more than doubled over the past 6 years, mainly due to rising costs from Hart County Jail. It is the only regional jail that submitted a bid for Edmonson County last year. Jail budget increases this year have much to do with the state retirement contributions that were increased by the state government.
The contributions for state employee retirement from each county government are regulated at the state level which has been estimated to add an additional $76,000 this year across the board for all offices in Edmonson County.
In other fiscal court news, County Road Foreman Ray Page reported that his crews had been busy with road tiles and other projects, while wet weather had hindered their schedules. He also said backhoe and dirt work was being done, along with mowing/trimming, ditch work, and mailbox work. Crews are preparing for asphalt work that will begin any time.
Sheriff’s Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office was preparing to host an active shooter training for county schools that would simulate an actual school shooting. While he said he hoped and prayed nothing like that would ever happen here, he wanted to make sure local law enforcement and school personnel were as prepared as they could possibly be. He also discussed the increased time from the school resource officer, which is also chief deputy, Jeff Brooks. The school pays for the school resource officer through the Sheriff's Office and has increased Brooks' time on school property. He also said that Supt. of Schools Patrick Waddell is working with the Sheriff's Office to try to add another part time school resource officer in another school. Both organizations are working to make it happen but the funding must come from the school system.
Jailer Report: Jailer Hank Vincent reported there were 24 current county inmates at Hart County Jail with on home incarceration.
County Clerk Report: County Clerk Kevin Alexander discussed new county finance officer Tammi Willhite's excellent work on some recent telephone billing issues faced by his office and thanked her publicly. He said his office was preparing for the upcoming primary election which is scheduled for May 22, 2018. He also noted that his office will be closed, this Friday and Saturday (Good Friday) because of the state holiday. He noted that when a holiday falls on Friday they are normally closed Saturday as well because the other offices with which they work in conjunction are also closed.
Tourism and Chamber Report: Tourism and Chamber Director Rhonda Clemmons reminded the court about the upcoming Trail Town meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 29th at the Edmonson County Library on Ferguson St. Refreshments will begin at 6 pm and a presentation at 6:30 pm by Helen Siewers of the Cave Country Trails group that will show the work of the UK Landscape Architecture students who worked on the project about Brownsville for the past six months.
The court also approved a host of upcoming conferences and reports from other county offices.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for April 9, 2018 at 9am.