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City asks County to renew agreement

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Contract spells out funding for countywide emergency, dispatch services.

By James Roberts

By Staff Writers Calen McKinney and James Roberts

The County is holding off on its agreement to pay $650,000 to the City for annual operation of countywide emergency and dispatch services.

On Monday night, Campbellsville City Council members voted to ask Taylor County Fiscal Court to continue the terms of the current interlocal agreement for two more years. At that meeting, Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young asked the Council for its OK to ask the County to continue contributing $650,000 annually for rescue and E-911 services. The current agreement expires June 30.

Young said he has only been in office for two months and that isn't enough time to suggest any changes to the agreement, and, as such, he recommends no changes for the next two years.

"Given time, I think I could make some changes that would benefit the City and County," Young said.

Councilman Mike Hall Jr. said that the last time he talked with County officials, the County had not allocated any funding for the agreement beyond June.

Councilman David Nunery made a motion to allow Young to make the request. Councilman Richard Jeter seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously. All members were present.

Young said he would write a letter to the Fiscal Court making the request. Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers received that letter, addressed to himself and the magistrates, on Tuesday.

During Tuesday night's regular Fiscal Court meeting, Rogers said that magistrates were given a copy of Young's letter.

Magistrate Matt Pendleton said he doesn't believe the Court can take any action on the request just yet because the County's Budgets, Audits and Personnel Committee has a meeting set for Monday to begin discussion of its general fund for the upcoming 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Pendleton made a motion to allow that discussion to take place before considering the City's request. Magistrate Ed Gorin seconded and the other magistrates unanimously agreed. All attended the meeting.

The Committee meeting on Monday will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Taylor County Courthouse and is open to the public. The Committee also met this past Monday and discussed the 2011-2012 road and jail funds. For more on that meeting, see a related story in this issue.

 

History

The subject of interlocal agreements between the City and County has been in the spotlight since 1999.

While the City first proposed an occupational tax, the County countered with a proposal for a tax split between both governments. After several revisions, an agreement in 2002 split a 1 percent occupational tax evenly after payments were made for tax office expenses and economic development contributions.

In April 2009, Fiscal Court members voted to break that agreement after Fiscal Court members were faced with a large shortfall in the 2009-2010 jail budget.

A month later, the Court approved an agreement to pay $650,000 a year for the next two years for emergency and dispatch services. At that point, the Court said it would keep all of the Countywide 1 percent occupational tax.

In June 2009, the City enacted its own 1 percent tax.

Former Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen said the $650,000 contribution from the County wasn't anywhere near the $1.5 million share of occupational taxes the City had been receiving and action had to be taken to continue providing City services.