County budget tops $12 million
During their regular monthly meeting on May 12, 2022, the McCreary County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a first reading of the tentative 2022-2023 fiscal year county budget totaling $12,749,853.66. Of the more than 12 million dollar budget, sixty-five percent ($8,354,966.90) was appropriated to the General Fund which covers the cost of salaries and operational costs for several county offices and amenities including the offices of Judge Executive, County Attorney, County Clerk, Sheriff (deputies), Economic Development/Tourism, Parks & Recreation, and Coroner. The General Fund also budgeted for county elections, courthouse, McCreary County Airport, as well as additional services such as solid waste, animal control, constables, ambulance service (including salaries, medical supplies, petroleum, etc.), and 911 dispatch.
General Fund revenue was generated through a variety of avenues including property, motor vehicle, and franchise taxes/fees, alcohol sales tax and license fees ($116,000), transient tax ($15,000), parks and recreation fees ($19,000), and ambulance service user fees ($1,750,000.00). Revenue for the 2022-23 general fund also includes $2,300,000 in surplus from the prior year and a total of $2,971,710.00 in transfers of funds from the Occupation Tax Fund and the Federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Grant fund. General fund revenue also includes funds received from reimbursements, excess fees, government payments, and other miscellaneous payments.
In the upcoming year’s budget, a total of $2,513,630.76 (19.71%) was appropriated to the County Road Fund. The Jail Fund received a total of $1,398,418.00 (10.97%) with $167,550 (1.31%) designated for the revolving loan fund. The Ambulance Equipment Fund received a total of $144,260 (1.13%) with $84,250 of that amount being surplus from the prior year. Remaining appropriations for the 22-23 budget were those receiving less than 1% of the total budget including the L.G.E.A. Fund, Utility Assistance Fund, Grant Fund, and Clerk Storage Fees. The ambulance service received an appropriation of $46,750 in the Grant Fund. The Grant Fund’s revenue consisted of funds secured from State Grants (KBEMS) and Surplus Revenue from Prior Year.
The 22-23 budget will not be finalized until Fiscal Court approves a second reading of the document.
In other business, the Fiscal Court:
-Heard EMS Director Jimmy Barnett’s request for Fiscal Court to study his proposal to provide incentive pay to EMS and dispatch employees. Barnett explained it is difficult to retain and attract EMTs and Paramedics when they never receive a raise for service regardless of how long they are employed at McCreary EMS. Additionally, EMTs and Paramedics require specialized training. Currently, basic McCreary County EMTs earn $11.60 per hour, advanced EMTs earn $13.25 per hour, and paramedics earn $15.28 per hour. Dispatchers are paid $10.62 per hour. Barnett would like to see employees who remain at McCreary EMS receive an incentive pay raise of .50 cents per hour at the six month, two year, and five year marks. Under Barnett’s proposal, employees would be given additional $1.00 per hour raises after ten and twenty years of service. Under the plan, a new EMS/dispatch employee would have the opportunity to earn $3.50 per hour in incentive pay increases over a period of twenty + years of employment.
-Approved the 2021 Tax Settlement and 2021 Fee Settlement for Sheriff Waters.
-Opened bid for hangar style building at McCreary County Airport.
-Approved the 1st reading of Budget Amendment Number 5 adding revenue in the amount of $241,000. Judge Greene recently submitted a reimbursement request for the amount after discovering a reimbursement request had not been submitted as far back as 2017.
-Approved a resolution regarding agreement with KOHS project funding, per request of EMS Director Jimmy Barnett. EMS will apply for a grant to replace chest compression devices.
-Approved appointments of Tonya Neal and Bill Terry to the McCreary County Assessment Board of Appeals. Approved appointment of Kim Trammell and re-appointment of Kimberly King to the McCreary County Public Library Board of Trustees. Approved appointment of Mary Ross to the McCreary County Tourism Board.
Fiscal Court also heard reports from department heads including the following:
-EMS reported 418 runs last month. Dispatch answered 1,026 calls.
-Tax Administrator Stephanie Taylor reported the collection of $400,959.72 in occupation tax. $267,306.48 of the total was transferred to the General Fund with the remaining $133,653.24 going to the Jail Fund.
-ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) collected $8,761.09 in regulatory fees and $14,830 in license fees for a total of $23,591.09 in March.
The McCreary County Fiscal Court meets in regular session on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 at the McCreary County Courthouse