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The County will face some unbudgeted security costs when the new Taylor County Judicial Center opens.
Taylor County Sheriff John Shipp told magistrates at last week's regular Fiscal Court meeting that the County will be responsible for paying some additional security startup and training costs when security moves from the current Taylor County Courthouse to the new judicial center building.
Once the building opens, he said, security will no longer be provided at the courthouse. Security will be required at all times the new Taylor County Judicial Center is open.
The new security system at the Taylor County Judicial Center will be somewhat more elaborate than the current system, Shipp said, and will require more employees and bailiffs than those who currently man the metal detectors.
The Administrative Office of the Courts will pay $7 per hour for each security employee. Currently, he said, payment for security employees and bailiffs goes through his office.
Shipp said he pays security personnel an average of $10 an hour, and his office has been covering the $3 per hour cost the AOC does not reimburse. However, he said, when the Taylor County Judicial Center opens, that additional salary cost will increase and will need to be paid by the County.
Shipp said the new security system will include two metal detectors and require four to five employees to oversee.
He said the Court will likely want those employees to work only part time to avoid having to pay benefits. However, part-time employees are limited as to the number of hours they can work per month. Therefore, he said, a pool of 12 employees will be needed.
Shipp said AOC will not pay for the training of new security employees or the startup costs to outfit those new employees. The cost to train the 12 new security employees, including several required tests, would total about $13,000.
Security startup costs, including the purchase of weapons and uniforms, are expected to total about $17,500.
Shipp said magistrates need to decide how they will pay for the startup costs and training and whether they want to pay new security personnel only the $7 per hour the AOC will pay or if $10 he currently pays is more appropriate.
If magistrates choose to pay $10, he said, they need to decide how to pay that additional $3-per-hour cost.
Shipp said that although the new security equipment likely won't be used until next March or April, when the judicial center is slated to open, the decisions need to be made now because magistrates are in the process of approving the County's 2008-2009 fiscal year budget.
He said he also needs to begin thinking of who will be hired for the security positions and start training them.
The new budget, he said, currently earmarks $30,000 for security. That figure, he said, will not be enough to pay for the startup and training costs and the additional salary pay. Shipp said the budget could be nearly $40,000 short.
Magistrate Ed Gorin asked if the County could add this money onto the loan the County requested to help pay for Taylor County Detention Center startup costs.
Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers said he requested a $500,000 loan and he is not sure if that amount can be changed.
Shipp said a $7 per hour salary might cause an increased amount of turnover in the 12 security positions.
Taylor County Treasurer Melissa Williams said the startup and training costs were not budgeted for, but the magistrates could vote to simply increase the security line item in the County's 2008-2009 fiscal year budget by $40,000 to $70,000.
Rogers said the County could also wait and see what the actual costs are and then amend the budget closer to the date the judicial center opens.
Gorin made a motion to increase the security line item in the 2008-2009 budget to $70,000. Magistrate James Jones seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.
Taylor County Law Enforcement and Detention Center Committee members discussed the issues with Shipp just before the Fiscal Court meeting. They all agreed that the added security costs and $10 per-hour pay are necessary but were not sure where the money would come from to pay those costs.
Rogers announced there will be a special Fiscal Court meeting Friday, June 27. One of the items on the agenda will be second reading of the County's 2008-2009 budget.
Also at the meeting:
- Rogers announced that Taylor County Building Inspector Kenny Phillips will resign his position no later than July 8.
He said Phillips wrote a letter explaining that his duties with the Campbellsville/Taylor County Fire Department have increased, and he can no longer serve as building inspector.
Rogers said the state has required that each county have a building inspector and asked magistrates if they would like to appoint someone to take his position or advertise the position. Rogers said he has received an application from an inspector in Adair County.
Phillips told magistrates that the closest inspector, other than the one living in Adair County, would come from Somerset or Elizabethtown.
Magistrates agreed to advertise the position.