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Fiscal court talks tight budget for next year

SALYERSVILLE – The Magoffin County Fiscal Court met in regular session on Tuesday, April 20, discussing the upcoming new fiscal year’s budget, road improvements and a lease agreement for new trucks for the county.

The court approved fund transfers of $15,000 to the jail fund and $15,000 to LGEA, both from the general fund.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the fiscal court held the first reading of the budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022, with Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman explaining that some funds had not come in, yet, resulting in the leanest budget since he’s been on the fiscal court, but said he hopes the county will receive more FEMA money.

Wireman said he is working with the state level to try to find more funds, but the road budget had taken the biggest hit.

Wireman explained that the state changed how they allocated road fund money, creating a drop in revenue, having natural disasters hit before the full allocation has been made. There are FEMA funds already promised to the county from past years, but the funding had not been disbursed, yet.

Deputy Judge Kevin Howard explained that they are installing more road signs throughout the county and most of the painting has been completed at the Lloyd M. Hall Community Center.

The county had made some improvements to the horse park recently, which was used for the first time this year last weekend, with a good turnout and a lot of horses, Wireman said.

Wireman said Abandoned Mine and Land funds, stimulus funding and the expected FEMA funding should help the lean funds for the next fiscal year, but they are trying to plan to spend conservatively.

The court accepted the annual financial budget for the Magoffin County Conservation District and the budget for the Magoffin County Extension District Board for fiscal year July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

They agreed to approve the invitation with the Department for Rural and Municipal Aid to participate in the Cooperative Program for the fiscal year 2022, which will help with the road fund’s cashflow.

Following Judge Wireman’s suggestion, the court agreed to approve a resolution with the Kentucky Association of Counties Leasing Trust for an interest-free, payment-free loan for one year, which will be used to pay for projects where the county has to pay money upfront, then are reimbursed for the costs, with total borrowing power of up to $400,000. If something comes up that they cannot pay it back within one year, Wireman explained that KACO has low-interest payment plans, as well.

Wireman also explained that the county will receive over $700,000 to fix small roads in the county. Governor Andy Beshear announced earlier on Tuesday a $5 million investment in transportation funding to revive, repair and build state roads, including resurfacing portions of the following Magoffin roads: Scranton Rd (Jake Wireman Fork), West Puncheon Creek, Big Lick, Painters Lick, John Howard, Jim Arnett Branch, Holderby Branch and Holderby Way, Willow Drive, RC Arnett Road, Charlie Prater St., Tommy Dyer St., and Front St., with a total allotment for Magoffin County at $761,257.

The court approved a lease for five Ford F-150 pickup trucks through Enterprise. Wireman explained that they will get brand new trucks at lesser payments, and in a year or year and a half can get new trucks, again. Maintenance requirements are minimal (rotate tires, change oil, etc.), which will also save the county.

They approved a preventative maintenance service by Boyd Cat for emergency backup power generator at the Magoffin County Rescue Squad.

The court approved Kentucky Transportation Department, District 10’s 2021 – 2022 Rural Secondary Recommendations/Tentative Budget Allotments, with an initial allotment of $199,000, and $392,000 for secondary roads, recommending portions KY 378, KY 3333, KY 3334, and the mouth of Oakley for resurfacing.

The fiscal court approved the COVID-19 Work Plan for Magoffin County to use inmates from the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. Within the work plan, the county could use three to five inmates for picking up trash, mowing, etc., with the caveat that the inmates are supervised by a jailer or deputy jailer. Wireman explained the plan includes hiring someone to supervise the inmates.

The court approved to declare and dispose of surplus property, which will allow them to advertise the county’s unneeded items, sell what is bid on and dispose of the rest of the items.

The court agreed to authorize bidding for bulk diesel fuel and gasoline, motor oil and grease, tiles and culverts, gravel and rock, blacktop/asphalt and structural rail, giving them a list of prices for the year.

They approved a petition to adopt Marion Hale Road into the county road system, which combines two small bridges that serve four households, with the plan of adding a box culvert to make the road safer for those homes.

During communications, Wireman explained that ice storm debris will have to chipped down, but he said they are required to have professional people to do this, so bids are being taken at the state level to address the fallen or hanging trees. He noted that he also doesn’t like the fallen, hanging and leaning trees, either, but they have to go through the proper process for cleaning up the debris.

Wireman said the county received a grant to remove flood debris, asking the public to move any flood debris to county rights-of-way and to call the judge’s office (at 606-349-2313) to let them know to pick it up.

County water should be extended to the industrial park by this fall, Wireman said, and he believes they will receive the funding to extend the water supply to the few roads still not covered by the county or city water systems.

As for the animal shelter, Wireman said they still need to install the HVAC system and put in the kennels, with hopes of opening the shelter to the public in the next few weeks.

Lifeguard Ambulance Services updated the court on their status, noting that they are still working on staffing, trying to staff three ambulances in the county each day. They stated they will be advertising for jobs and training soon, with Wireman noting for them to keep the county posted.

The court did break for a brief executive session, but no action was taken.

The next Magoffin County Fiscal Court meeting is tentatively slated for May 18 at 6 p.m. in the fiscal court room of the Magoffin County Courthouse (Albert Patrick Building).

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