Court votes down new interlocal agreement

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By Calen McKinney

Taylor Fiscal Court voted down a new interlocal agreement with the City of Campbellsville at a special meeting Tuesday night.

At last week's regular Fiscal Court meeting, magistrates voted 4-2 to amend the current occupational tax agreement to state that the expenses of the occupational tax office and the City and County's annual $200,000 contribution to the Campbellsville/Taylor County Economic Development Authority will be subtracted from the occupational tax revenue, with the remainder then divided evenly between the City and the County.

At the special called meeting Tuesday, approval of an amended agreement was on the agenda, along with possible first reading of the County's 2009-2010 budget and discussion of the barn at Veterans Memorial Park. Those were the only three items the Court could consider at the special meeting.

After an hour and a half of discussion, magistrates James Jones, Richard Phillips and Ed Gorin voted to approve the new agreement, which included a clause that states that either party can terminate the agreement after six months, instead of after a year as the current agreement states.

Magistrates John Gaines, Matt Pendleton and Milford Lowe voted "no," forcing Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers to cast the tie-breaking and deciding vote. He also voted "no."

On Wednesday, Rogers said he isn't sure what will happen next, though he said County officials will have to talk with City officials.

If no other agreement is approved before the end of this fiscal year, Rogers said, the current occupational tax agreement will be broken, because of the Court's vote last week, and the County will keep all of the occupational tax proceeds.

The Court also had first reading of the County's 2009-2010 budget Tuesday night, which totals nearly $8.5 million, down from this fiscal year's $8.9 million.

Taylor County Treasurer Melissa Williams said the budget was based on giving the City half of the occupational tax revenue and the County keeping the money it usually pays to help fund Campbellsville/Taylor County Rescue and E-911.

After last night's vote, she said, and if no other agreement is approved before the end of June, the County's budget will increase by $1.2 million, the portion of occupational tax proceeds the City would have been given.

Williams said the Court does not have to have second reading of the 2009-2010 budget until the end of June. At that point, she said, the budget could be drastically different than the one magistrates had first reading of on Tuesday, depending on what happens as a result of the vote to not approve the new occupational tax agreement.

On Wednesday, Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen said was surprised and disappointed to hear of the Court's vote. She said thought the issue had been decided and she isn't sure what will happen next. 

See Monday's CKNJ for more on this story.