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Recent Fiscal Court Action

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By The Staff

In addition to setting tax rates, the Taylor Fiscal Court took action on several other issues at its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 14. For more information on the tax rates, see the News-Journal's Sept. 16 issue.

Also at the meeting:

- Magistrate Matt Pendleton told magistrates that the Court's New Projects and Special Services Committee met Aug. 23 and discussed the purchase of a new truck for the Taylor County Animal Shelter.

Pendleton said shelter director John Harris has received a quote that could save a few thousand dollars if magistrates agree to purchase the vehicle now.

Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers said the same scenario applies to a tractor for the Road Department. The money to pay for the truck and tractor would have to be borrowed, Rogers said.

Pendleton said he isn't sure if borrowing money is best, considering state law requires that no more than 65 percent of the County's funds be used during the first half of the fourth year of the Court's term.

Magistrate Richard Phillips asked Harris if the truck was needed to fulfill his duties at the shelter. Harris said it is.

Phillips said Road Foreman Brian Smothers has said the same, and because of that he made a motion to borrow the money to pay for the truck and tractor. Magistrate Ed Gorin seconded the motion, which was approved by a vote of 5-1 with Pendleton casting the lone "no" vote.

Pendleton said he agrees that the purchases are needed but said he would like to wait until the 65/35 finance rule no longer applies.

Last Thursday, Rogers said the purchase has now been put on hold because of the finance rule but will be discussed at the Court's next meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.

- Magistrates declared a 2001 Ford truck, a 1996 Dodge Ram truck and a 2002 Dodge Ram wagon at the animal shelter as surplus. Sealed bids will be accepted for the vehicles through Oct. 4 and will be opened Oct. 12. Money received from the sale will be applied to the purchase of the new truck for the shelter.

- Magistrates gave their approval to a resolution and memorandum of agreement related to financing of an expansion at Taylor Regional Hospital. According to information submitted to magistrates, the County has no liability in the project and is only required to approve the agreements to satisfy IRS rules. Read more about the expansion in an upcoming issue of the News-Journal.

- Magistrates accepted $200,000 in funding from the state Transportation Cabinet to install turning lanes at Amazon.com. Rogers said the City and County will work together on the project.

- Rogers announced that the County has received an $80,000 Tebbs Bend recreation trails grant. He said the amount is the largest given to any county in the state.

- Magistrates approved an end of the year balance report for the canteen account at the Taylor County Detention Center. The balance was $37,179.08.

- The Court gave approval for Taylor County Sheriff John Shipp to spend no more than $4,000 to mail 2010 property tax bills. The $4,000 is included in Shipp's annual budget.

- Magistrates gave their approval to a maintenance contract with D-C Elevator, the company that installed the elevators at the Taylor County Judicial Center. No cost was given.

- The Court approved final claims in the amount of nearly $13,000 for work at the Taylor County Detention Center. Rogers said the payments verify that the project is complete.

However, Ernie Breeding, who provides maintenance services at the jail, said one item still needs to be completed and he recommends holding $2,000 from the bond posted by the company responsible for the work. Magistrates agreed. Holding the money, Breeding said, will ensure the Court has money to replace some damaged tiling if the company doesn't finish the job.

- Pendleton reported that the committee formed to view a portion of Beard Lane that a homeowner would like to close in order to build a new home has not yet been able to view the land. The issue was tabled until the Court's next meeting.

- The monthly road work requests were approved, with requests ranging from fixing pot holes and mowing to replacing various signs.

- Magistrates had first reading of a 25 mph speed limit on Austin and Applebee drives.

- The Court approved several budget amendments and transfers. Magistrates had first reading of moving $7,800 in the ASAP federal grant line item to the ASAP program support item, $118,660.52 in discretionary aid, driver's license refunds and miscellaneous revenue in the road fund to the blacktop and reserve line items and moving $629,203.98 in various line items in the general fund. They also had second reading of amending $31,861.53 from line items in the road fund to the reserve line item.

Also approved was the transfer of $183,738.58 in the reserve line item in the general fund to flood expense and blacktop line items, $259,000 in various line items in the general fund and $238,708.38 from the general fund to the jail fund.

- Magistrates approved the 2009-2010 treasure's settlement report.

- Nearly $48,000 has been collected in occupational taxes since the Court's August meeting. Almost $636,000 has been collected this fiscal year.

- Magistrates met in closed session for about 15 minutes to discuss pending litigation. No action was taken.