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Detention center refinance on hold

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By Calen McKinney

The county won't be refinancing its loan to pay for the detention center just yet.

At last Tuesday's regular Taylor County Fiscal Court meeting, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers said he has been told the county could save even more money by waiting to refinance.

Last month, officials from the Kentucky Association of Counties and First Kentucky Securities spoke to magistrates about current bond interest rates.

The loan on the detention center stands at about $14.5 million. Nearly $9.5 million accounts for principal debt.

If the $14.5 million is refinanced, the representatives said last month, the county could save from $25,000 to $30,000 a year.

However, at last week's meeting, Rogers said savings could be even greater if the county waits a few years.

If done now, he said, refinancing could save about $300,000. If done in a few years, savings could top out at $1 million.

Magistrates voted to wait to refinance, but continue to monitor interest rates.

Also at the Meeting:

• Rogers announced that state funding has been allocated to build a new bridge on Tebbs Bend Road. He said he wants to salvage the current bridge, however, and place it near some trails in the area. The new bridge, he said, could be built as early as next year.

• Team Taylor County Executive Director Ron McMahan told magistrates that two businesses have contacted him recently about locating in Taylor County. One of the two is a retail business considering locating downtown.

McMahan said a company also formally requested information about Taylor County, which is promising.

He said INFAC's expansion is under way, with the new building's roof being more than halfway complete. Progress is running ahead of schedule, he said.

McMahan said he hopes to announce an expansion at a local company next month, with the addition of about 10 jobs.

Rogers asked McMahan to work with the Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce and Taylor County Tourist Commission to plan the opening reception the county will again host for this year's Kentucky State Fair.

• Magistrates adopted a resolution of support for proposed legislation to legalize the growing of hemp in Kentucky.

Magistrate John Gaines cast the lone "no" vote because he said he believes he doesn't know enough about the issue.

• In his monthly report, Taylor County Jailer Hack Marcum said in January, inmates housed at the Taylor County Detention Center performed 3,122 hours of labor in the community. If paid minimum wage, the hours would equate to $22,634.50. Inmates work with fire, street, housing, park, school and road department workers. A work crew picks up trash, mows and helps with recycling.

In January, the jail housed an average of 201 inmates each day, with 132 being state inmates. In all, 26 percent of the inmates housed at the detention center in January were Taylor County's inmates, who are non-revenue-generating customers.

In January, jail contracts with the state and Green, Cumberland and Jessamine counties produced $154,113.12 in revenue.

Marcum said the detention center was inspected recently and received its first perfect score.

• Taylor County Sheriff Allen Newton presented magistrates with a $44,674.13 check for his office's 2012 excess fees.

• The detention center's monthly employment report was read. James Baldwin was hired as a temporary employee at $9 an hour. Joseph Clark was promoted to full time nonexempt status at $12.47 an hour. Brandon Noel resigned.

• Judy Dabney was appointed as the county's chief deputy coroner. James Cravens, who had the position since 1987, has retired. Dabney's term will end next year.

• A countywide tornado drill will be Tuesday, March 5, at 10:07 a.m. Rogers said Taylor County will be participating.

• Magistrates agreed to contribute $100 each to Campbellsville and Taylor County high school project graduation celebrations.

• Rogers announced there will be a tire amnesty program on June 6-8 at the state highway garage. More details will be announced soon.

• Magistrates agreed to purchase a snow plow for $4,100.

• Monthly requests for roadwork were approved and include grading and graveling county roads, replacing signs, shoulder work and repairs to potholes.

• Magistrates had second reading of a budget amendment, accepting a $44,939.83 donation to the Taylor County Animal Shelter. The transfer of $190.25 from the reserve to the Jail Tracker line item in the jail fund approved last month was canceled. The transfer of $124,312.24 to and from various line items in the general fund was approved, as was the transfer of $75,142.07 in the road fund and $8,432.75 in the jail fund.

• A little more than $2.3 million has been collected in occupational taxes this fiscal year. After refunds and expenses, net amount collected is $2,266,443.62.