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Judicial center may not open till July

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Court signs contract for Green prisoners

By Calen McKinney

Construction of Taylor County's new judicial center has fallen behind schedule and the building may not be open until July.

At last week's regular Fiscal Court meeting, Magistrate James Jones told the Court that workers have lost 88 construction days because of bad weather.

He said the building will now be completed around June 1. Judicial center staff may be able to begin using the building around July 4.

Construction of the judicial center began in August 2007. The three-story building will encompass 53,000 square feet.

At a groundbreaking ceremony in July 2007, former Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert said it typically takes 15-24 months to build a new judicial center.

At the Court's November meeting, Jones said the opening date of the building was set for the beginning of May.

A month before that, the building's opening date was estimated as this March.

Also at the meeting:

- Magistrates approved a contract to house Green County's male and female inmates at a rate of $27 per day.

Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers told magistrates at last month's regular Fiscal Court meeting that he and Taylor County Jailer Rick Benningfield had discussed contracting to house inmates from Green and Metcalfe counties with officials from those counties. As of the meeting on Jan. 13, however, no agreements had been officially reached.

However, a few days after that meeting, Rogers said he had learned that Green County magistrates voted to begin contracting with Taylor County.

Benningfield said last month that Green County officials were going to begin transporting their inmates here on Feb. 1. He said he believes the county will average between 10 and 12 inmates.

At last week's meeting, Rogers told magistrates that the County has the right to refuse any inmates because of overcrowding or those who need immediate medical care or may present a risk to the jail.

Green County officials will be responsible for transporting its inmates to Taylor County, along with providing medical care for its inmates while they are here.

- Magistrates gave their approval for the County to apply for a Community Initiative and Tourism for You, or C.I.T.Y., grant on behalf of the Campbellsville Renaissance/Campbellsville Historical Preservation Commission. Rogers said the grant, if awarded, will be used toward the courthouse square project.

- On behalf of the Project Development Board, the board overseeing the construction of the Taylor County Judicial Center, magistrates approved payment of a $638,372.46 bill to Codell Construction Co.

- On behalf of the Detention Center Committee, the board overseeing construction of the Taylor County Detention Center, magistrates approved final payments to architect CMW Inc. for $9,754.33 and $71,723.20 to Codell Construction Co., though all remaining work is to be completed before payment is rendered.

- Jerry Mardis and Susie Skaggs were appointed to the Taylor County Board of Assessment Appeals, for one- and two-year terms, respectively. Rogers said Campbellsville Mayor Allen will recommend the Board's third member, who will serve a three-year term.

- Magistrates adopted a resolution requesting funding from the state to upgrade County roads. Rogers said all counties in the state are adopting the resolution, which asks that money awarded to the state in an economic stimulus package, if it is approved by legislators, be divided equally among Kentucky's 120 counties.

- Magistrates approved an amendment to the Taylor County Sheriff's budget, which adjusts the amount of income the office received. Taylor County Sheriff John Shipp also presented the Court with a check for $20,000 in excess fees, though he says more will be coming but has to be kept in his office's account until an audit is completed. Shipp told magistrates that the excess fees should pay off the $77,000 loan on the three vehicles the office purchased last year.

- Rogers announced that the street entering the new industrial park will be named after Campbellsville native pro golfer John "J.B." Holmes. He said Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen is still working on naming a street after Campbellsville native Emily Cox, who won the Miss Kentucky crown last year.

- Magistrates had second reading of three budget amendments. First, a little more than $42,000 was transferred from and to several line items in the general fund. Also approved was the transfer of $70,700 from the road fund's maintenance/bridge line item to the bridge construction and reserve line items and about $32,000 from several line items in the jail fund to the fund's reserve line item.

- A little more than $1.9 million has been collected in occupational taxes this fiscal year. About $630,000 has been collected since the Court's January meeting.

- Staff Writer Calen McKinney can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 235 or by e-mail at reporter@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.