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County’s General Fund Gets $1.3 Million from ARPA

Fire departments and 6th deputy funded; inclusive playground coming soon

By Eugenia Jones

McCreary County’s general fund increased significantly during last week’s (April 14, 2022) regular monthly meeting as magistrates approved anticipated inter-fund cash transfers including the transfer of $1,300,355.65 of McCreary County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds into the County’s general fund.  ARPA funds are federal funds allotted to counties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The special COVID-related revenue is earmarked for specific types of local projects with a limited amount of the funds eligible for placement in the general fund due to the loss of county revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.   McCreary County’s first allotment of the funds totaled approximately $1.6 million dollars with a second similar allotment expected soon.  During the meeting, magistrates also approved and designated additional ARPA funding for the hiring of a sixth full-time Sheriff’s Deputy and $75,000 ($375,000 total) to each of McCreary County’s five Volunteer Fire Departments.

In voting to approve ARPA funding for the fire departments, Magistrate Hale noted local firefighters volunteer to do a very dangerous job.

“When our Search and Rescue dissolved, the fire departments stepped up to help and began doing Search and Rescue,” Hale noted.  “They volunteer to put their lives on the line.”

In other business, the Fiscal Court:

• Approved hires and transfers for EMS, Litter Abatement, Courthouse, and Sheriff’s Department.

• Approved payment for newly refurbished ambulance.

• Approved the start of process to expand the EMS bay area in order to house all ambulances inside bays.  ARPA funding will be used for the expansion.

• Approved hiring Dylan T. Brown as full time deputy sheriff at rate of $12.42 per hour.  ARPA funding will be used.

• Per KRS 64.530, approved pay increase of $2,500 per year for Jailer/Chief Transport Office effective for the term 2023-26.

• Accepted resignation letter from Randy Kidd who chaired the Industrial Development Board.  Judge Greene and Magistrates complimented Kidd on his service to the board over the past several years.

• Approved a resolution supporting National Heritage Area Designation for the Kentucky Wildlands region.  McCreary County is one of 41 counties in the Kentucky Wildlands tourism region.

• Approved a resolution, requested by Emergency Management Director Stephen McKinney, regarding a grant for McCreary County Sheriff’s Office for replacement of ballistic vests more than six years old.

• Accepted Oaks Lane Connector, Oaks Lane, Oaks Lane Spur, and Dale Jones Road (Roundtop) into county road inventory.

Other points of interest include:

• Judge Greene urged volunteers to register and help with the Cumberland Falls/HWY 90 Clean Up on Saturday, April 30.  Registration forms are at the McCreary County Tourism Office and Public Library.  Registration and pick up of materials will be at the Dollar General Store in Parkers Lake on the day of the event.

• Applied Behavioral Advancement bought the former Buck Cook store (former Deannie’s Discount) in Whitley City.

• Gravel Road Rally is scheduled on Saturday, April 30.  From 6:00 to 7:30 on Friday evening (April 29), drivers and cars will be at the Train Depot parking lot in Stearns for a parc expose.  Everyone is encouraged to attend the event to meet the drivers and view cars.  Music and concessions available.

• Alcohol Beverage Control Board collected $8,002 in February for regulatory fees.  Roger Owens, Champions for a Drug Free McCreary County, discussed this summer’s upcoming “Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs” event.

• Magistrate Bobby Strunk applied for and was awarded a grant to establish an inclusive playground at the McCreary County Park.  Strunk noted children with physical disabilities will soon have equipment designed for their access at the park.  The playground will be constructed on specialized turf and will be wheelchair accessible with playground equipment, including swings, designed for inclusion.  Magistrate Strunk began working on the grant in 2019 but funding was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Magistrate Roger Phillips made a motion to begin the bidding process to build a hangar at the McCreary County Airport.   Magistrate Phillips said an additional hangar will make it possible to recruit more planes, making the airport eligible for federal funds.

The McCreary County Fiscal Court meets in regular session at the McCreary County Courthouse on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Photo by Eugenia Jones

During the April monthly meeting, Fiscal Court designated and approved $75,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds to each of McCreary County’s volunteer fire departments.  Firefighters are pictured above with Judge Greene and the magistrates following the fiscal court meeting.

American Rescue Plan Act funds will be used to fund the McCreary County Sheriff’s Department sixth full-time paid deputy.  Judge Greene is pictured below as he swears in Deputy Dylan Brown.  Sheriff Randy Waters looks on in the background.

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