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County wins Pride of the Counties booth competition

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Sponsored state fair's opening reception

By Calen McKinney

For the second year in a row, local businesses and organizations have paid the cost of the county sponsoring the Kentucky State Fair’s opening reception.
The reception, which was last Thursday, cost $9,000. With the sponsorship comes the county receiving prime booth space at the fair’s Pride of the Counties area. And today, according to Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers, the county will be recognized as the winner of this year’s Pride of the Counties best booth competition.
At the regular Taylor County Fiscal Court meeting on Aug. 13, Rogers told magistrates he thanks the businesses, organizations and individuals contributing to paying for the reception.
At a previous meeting, Rogers said last year’s reception cost the county $750, after donations were counted.
Rogers has previously said that last year’s reception, which the county hosted for the first time, went over well and many people asked questions about the Taylor County community.
This year’s reception was well attended by state and local officials, as well as Taylor County residents.
Also at the Meeting:
• Magistrates accepted $676,193 in state county road aid funding for maintenance and construction of county roads.
• Rogers said the county received $30,885 in fire fighter grant funding. The grant comes with a 5-percent required match, he said, which means the county has to pay $1,545 to receive the money. Magistrates agreed to pay the cost.
 • The monthly employee update report was read. There were several promotions, hires and released employees at the Taylor County Detention Center last month and for the month of June.
Kenneth Manning, Jason Milby and Paige Patterson were promoted from temporary to full-time deputies at $9.79 an hour.
Darlene Atwell and Mark Warren were promoted from deputy to corporal and went from making $11.26 to earning $11.76 an hour. J.W. Maupin was also promoted from deputy to corporal and went from earning $10.60 an hour to $11.10. Brooke Roberts was promoted from deputy to sergeant and now makes $11.50 an hour.
Chris Harrison, a deputy, received a pay increase from $10.09 to $10.59 an hour.
Jacob Cooke, Tyler Sallee, Karrie Cave, Philip Coury and Whitney Routs were hired on a temporary basis and all make $9 an hour. Daniel Miller, Jessica Wethington, Eli Wethington and Jacob Cooke were released and Jeff Benedict and Kenneth Durham have resigned their positions.
• In his monthly report, Taylor County Jailer Hack Marcum said that during the month of July, inmates housed at the Taylor County Detention Center performed 1,848 hours of labor in the community. If paid minimum wage, the hours would equate to $13,398. Inmates work with fire, street, housing, park, school and road department workers. A work crew picks up trash, mows and helps with recycling.
In July, the jail housed an average of 198 inmates each day, with 95 being state inmates. In all, 34 percent of the inmates housed at the detention center in July were Taylor County’s inmates, who are non-revenue-generating customers.
In July, jail contracts with the state and Green, Cumberland and Jessamine counties produced $120,355.56 in revenue.
Marcum told magistrates that the jail is next in line to receive inmates from Marion Adjustment Center, which recently learned it will no longer contract with the state to house its inmates.
• The Court agreed to allow Marcum to contract with Combined Public Communications to provide phone service at the jail.
He said the county received a $50,000 bonus for contracting with the company.
• After opening sealed bids for three vehicles declared surplus by Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, magistrates agreed to reject the offers and allow Taylor County Sheriff Allen Newton to decide what to do with the cars.
Newton said they might bring more at auction than the bids, which ranged from $185.99 to $665.
• Rogers said the jail fund balance was insufficient to cover an annual debt payment recently, so he signed an executive order moving money to the account to cover the payment. Magistrates agreed to move the money.
• Magistrates gave their approval to three agricultural redistricting requests.
• The Court had first reading of a 25 mph speed limit on Rustic Haven Drive.
• Magistrates approved their monthly requests for work to be done on county roads.
The requests include repairs to tiles and potholes, installation of signs, mowing, grading county roads, shoulder work and more.
• After subtracting expenses and refunds, nearly $696,000 has been collected in occupational taxes this fiscal year.