SALYERSVILLE – The Magoffin County Fiscal Court met in regular session on Tuesday, January 19, discussing jail costs and closing several county roads.
Per the treasurer’s recommendation, the fiscal court agreed to transfer $20,000 from the general fund to the jail fund, $10,000 from the general fund to the 911 fund, $15,000 from the general fund to the LGEA fund, $5,334 from the solid waste fund to the LGEA fund and $3,556 from the solid waste fund to the general fund, with a total of $53,890 in fund transfers.
District 2 Magistrate Pernell “Buck” Lemaster asked if there is any way to decrease the jail costs, but Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman explained that he sat in on the last jail board meeting and they are actually looking to increase the daily cost per inmate. He noted that the jail is struggling financially, with a decrease in inmate population, and they are projecting a deficit.
While Wireman explained that he is still trying to lobby for more money from Frankfort, his recommendation for the jail is to make a budget reduction.
“We can’t keep spending the same amount with less inmates,” Wireman said, comparing the issue to school enrollment, where budgets are determined by the number of students and costs and personnel are increased or decreased accordingly.
“It’s unfortunate,” Wireman said, noting he has a background in law enforcement. “If you do wrong, you need to go to jail, but as a judge, I can’t afford to keep them in there.”
He said he will continue to work with the other county judges and the jail, as well as look at their other options (i.e. bracelet monitoring, etc.).
The court also revised their transportation costs of the coroner/deputy coroner for autopsies, which had not been updated since Judge May’s term. Wireman explained that the cost was set at $255 for a transport to Frankfort, but with COVID-19 Frankfort is not accepting as many and they are having to transport to Louisville most of the time now. The court agreed to set the cost of transports from Salyersville to Louisville at $400.
At the request and petitions of the landowners, the court agreed to close Sam Poe Road and Sam Poe Cemetery Road, Kenneth Auxier Road, and Marshall Spur. Wireman explained that these roads were basically private driveways and the property owners had expressed they didn’t want to be in the county road system when the county was trying to find where road signs needed to be placed.
The fiscal court also agreed to extend Blanton Branch to include a few more homes that were already getting trash pickup and other county services.
In other business, the court approved the updated county road list, as well as a statement of affiliation between the Salyersville Fire Department and Magoffin County.
Following up on the updated ethics code they passed last year, the court agreed to appoint the following for staggered terms to the ethics board: Lucinda Cornett for a two-year term that will end n January 2023, Grover Arnett to a three-year term ending January 2024, and Don McFarland to a four-year term ending January 2025.
The fiscal court also approved a motion to hire Tommy Salyer as county road foreman, a position that has been vacant for quite some time.
Wireman also noted that he knows the roads are getting bad, explaining that he has three pages of road issues that came up after the snow, freeze and thaw. He said the county had three trucks out working on the roads when the snow hit, with crews working daylight to dark for three days, including Christmas.
“Just know that we’re coming, but be patient with us,” Wireman said.
He also explained that the COVID-19 vaccine currently goes through the Magoffin County Health Department, but until quantities increase, the wait will be long for most. He encouraged everyone to get the vaccine when they can.
Magistrates Darrell Ray Howard, Lemaster and Joe Bailey all expressed that in each of the districts the biggest need is road repair.
They noted they appreciated the road workers and reminded the public to stay safe and wear masks.
The next regularly scheduled fiscal court meeting is tentatively set for February 16 at 6 p.m. at the Magoffin County Courthouse.