Pulaski County Fiscal Court met in special session Monday, passing the second reading of the county budget in the nick of time for the new fiscal year starting Wednesday.
At $29,709,479, this year’s budget cuts more that $2 million off the budget approved last year at $32,127,131. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, county officials had been expecting a $1 million shortfall to wrap up this fiscal year. County Treasurer Joan Isaacs said after the meeting that a firm number wouldn’t be available in that regard until this year’s records are completely closed out later in July.
Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley noted that the county had made a few minor changes from the initial draft passed last month. The budget draft had also been approved by the Kentucky Department for Local Government in accordance with state law.
As it stands, the new budget allocates $15,867,980 to the General Fund; $4,354,509 to the Road Fund; $4,416,240 to the Jail Fund; $305,750 to LGEA Fund; $2,866,000 to the Fire Fund; and $1,899,000 to the Emergency Dispatch Fund. The second reading passed on a split vote with Magistrates Jason Turpen (District 1), Mike Wilson (2), Jimmy Wheeldon (3) and Mike Strunk (5) voting to approve it and District 4 Magistrate Mark Ranshaw voting against.
When contacted after the meeting, Ranshaw declined comment on his vote.
Magistrate Ranshaw had also voted against the bill list. In past meetings, he had objected to particular expenses such as a consulting bill related to the county’s EOC (emergency operations center). However on Monday, the issue was that he had not received the bill packet mailed to magistrates and therefore couldn’t review the 27-page list.
Price queried about the court paying for road work in Ranshaw’s district since he has voted against paying bills. However, Judge Kelley responded that the court had voted overall to pay the bills.
“I can’t vote on something I can’t review,” Ranshaw noted.
Isaacs assured him that the packet had been mailed along with those for the other magistrates. Kelley apologized for Ranshaw not receiving it.
To finish out the year, the court approved an emergency budget amendment allowing for $2,545,553 in unanticipated revenues. The amendment was declared an emergency due to how close it is to the end of the fiscal year, without sufficient time for the amendment to be advertised for a second reading.
In other business, Fiscal Court:
• approved a resolution regarding leases of trucks and tractors from the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo). Under the plan, the county keeps its fleet updates by purchasing then reselling the equipment at auction. According to Deputy Judge-Executive Dan Price, the county made a profit with the last auction of up to $60,000 with its trucks and another $40,000 with its tractor. Isaacs added that the county has participated in three auctions, learning that the equipment yields the most return when auctioned off in June.
“Between the last two auctions, we exactly broke even,” she said.
Price added that the county would be only be getting two trucks this year instead of three due to the budget constraints. The Pulaski County Recycling Center (109 Board) will reimburse the county for two tractors they’ll be receiving under the plan.
• approved all bids received for Fiscal Year 2020-21.
• approved a contract with Intertech Mechanical Services for the Pulaski Judicial Center. Judge Kelley noted that the state Administrative Office of the Courts would reimburse the county for bills incurred.
• approved a resolution amending Pulaski County Detention Center’s Health Services Agreement to allow for mobile dental services through Southern Health Partners.
• approved the appointment of Donna McFall to the Pulaski County Public Library Board of Directors.
• hired a mower operator for the 5th District as well as two seasonal maintenance workers to work at the county’s parks each weekend (Thursday through Sunday) and two seasonal workers for the Solid Waste Department.