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Fiscal Court to provide PHI coverage for employees

By Greg Bird

In last week’s Fiscal Court meeting the Court approved a plan presented by EMS Director Jimmy Barnett to provide county employees with an additional benefit – medical flight coverage through PHI Air Medical.
Barnett stated PHI has partnered with South Kentucky RECC to offer the discounted packages for just $30 per household, making it a low-cost benefit for employees.
Medical evacuation flights can be quite costly, often carrying bills in the tens of thousands of dollars. Barnett noted one of his employees who was involved in an accident recently had incurred a $40,000 bill for the flight alone.
Barnett estimated the cost to the General Fund would be about $2,400 a year, but most likely would be less due to some employees having the same coverage through other agencies. A similar package was adopted by the McCreary County Board of Education earlier this year, providing the same coverage to all District employees and their families.
The motion was approved by a unanimous vote.
In other Fiscal Court actions Thursday:
The bid for installing additional lights over ballfields at the McCreary County Park was awarded to Kyota Electric, whose $55,500 bid was the lowest of three received. Magistrate Roger Phillips, who sits on the Park Board stated $50,000 had been allotted from the Park Board budget for the project, but they had authorized additional spending if needed. Earlier this year bids for the proposal were rejected and re-submitted after the initial costs were deemed too high.
EMS Director Jimmy Barnett asked for permission to contract out the various aspects of the proposed expansion at the EMS building. The project was initially bid out to contractors, but the cost was much higher than anticipated. The Fiscal Court rejected the bids at that time.
Barnett stated by dealing directly with builders, such as block layers, and electricians, the cost would be less expensive, and build time reduced. He estimated the total cost to the expansion would be about $50,000.
The Fiscal Court approved a $10,000 loan to Clarity Counseling LLC, as requested by the Industrial Board through the revolving loan program. The terms of the loan would be for 8-years with a three percent interest rate and fully secured by the Fiscal Court.
The Industrial Board is tasked with reviewing all loan applications through the program, and forwarding their recommendation to the Fiscal Court if they determine the loan would be viable to support economic growth.
Deputy Judge Nathan Nevels informed the court that the county was awarded a $25,000 grant to develop a website and promotion package for the spec building in Pine Knot. Nevels said the Industrial Board has hired an individual from Somerset to perform the work, who has also agreed to redesign the county website at no additional charge.
Nevels added that the Industrial Board is preparing to install new lighting in the building that will help when the concrete floor is poured.

Occupational Tax Administrator Stephanie Tucker said she had submitted 194 accounts of more than 80 people with outstanding occupational tax bills to a credit agency at the request of the Fiscal Court. Tucker said all past-due accounts are now with collections.
The court also approved the use of the Sandhill 4-H camp next spring for a county-wide horse trail riding event. Nevels explained the event has already drawn great interest from around the country, and all spaces at the camp-site are expected to be filled. He added the County would receive all proceeds from the 3-day site rentals, but the event organizers asked if the county could provide some entertainment for riders on two of the evenings.
The event is scheduled to take place from April 9 through 11.
The next scheduled meeting of the McCreary County Fiscal Court will be on Thursday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m.

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