Madison Doyle, story:
County Clerk Kevin Alexander gave a report today in Fiscal Court that the new voting machines are working great and are easy to use. There was a bit of debate whether or not to use ARPA funding to pay for voting equipment in the amount of $125,000, or to use the county general funds. The court previously allocated the purchase from the general fund; however, in recent meetings, using ARPA money was brought to the discussion by Judge Executive Wil Cannon.
Cannon stated that he had spoken with Representative Michael Meredith, whom Cannon said investigated it further. Cannon said that Meredith expressed he was optimistic about using ARPA funding to cover the equipment, and said it was very likely that the state will reimburse the ARPA funding if used for the voting equipment, but there would be no certain guarantee.
County Treasurer Tammy Willhite said she has been in touch with Compass Municipal Advisors, LLC., the company hired to help administer Edmonson County's handling of ARPA funding.
"They [Compass] said the reimbursement to the ARPA funding is possible with a little extra paperwork, and proper steps taken to watch-out for auditing and budgeting purposes," she said.
District 3 Magistrate Charlie Tarter said he "did not feel comfortable" using the ARPA funding without the guarantee that it could be reimbursed, and that "if we take it out of general I feel like the county could deal with it a little bit better."
Judge Cannon called for a roll call vote, which resulted in a 4-3 approval to use the ARPA funds, with Cannon casting the first vote as "yes." Edd Rich, Corey Vanmeter, and Johnny Brooks, also voted to use ARPA funds, while Mark Meeks, Charlie Tarter, and James Vincent voted against it.
County Attorney Salary Discussion
The fiscal court also approved to increase the County Attorney salary to $35,000 a year, which is $10,000 higher than previously discussed at the last fiscal court meeting. At that meeting, County Attorney Greg Vincent stated he was grateful for the raise up to $25,000, but that it wasn't quite high enough for the job whether he gets re-elected or not.
Today, Vincent was absent due to being ill, but Judge Cannon stated that he agreed with what Vincent said in the last meeting, and that the raise should be higher than previously discussed. Cannon said the new salary of $35,000 will be effective January 1, 2023.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander also mentioned that mail-in ballots are now closed, and excused early voting started last Wednesday and will continue until this Wednesday. This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday will start early unexcused voting. Alexander said "Anybody can come in those three days and vote early with out any excuse." He also stated that during these days, the clerk's office will be closed, and they will only be open for early voting. The hours are as follows:
Thursday: 8 am - 4 pm
Friday: 8 am - 5 pm
Saturday: 8 am - 4 pm.
Alexander said that regular voting will open next Tuesday, May 17th.
Arthur Road Sinkhole
County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll updated the court in his regular report that the sinkhole that opened up on Arthur Road on April 29th had been repaired. He said estimated costs were around $50,000
This fiscal court also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting will be held on Monday, May 23rd, 2022.