HAZARD — The Perry County Fiscal Court held a special called meeting on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. in the fiscal courtroom. Judge Executive Scott Alexander was present, along with all of the magistrates; Magistrate District 1 Keith Miller, Magistrate District 2 Ronald Combs and Magistrate District 3 Kenny Cole.
The Fiscal Court approved the minutes of the April meeting by unanimous vote. The court also unanimously approved payment of the monthly bills.
An offer from the UK Cooperative Extension Service for the purchase of the KRAAD building was discussed by the Fiscal Court. According to Judge Alexander’s explanation of the deal, the Extension Service is offering $250 thousand for the facility, which appraises at approximately $170 thousand. The payment of $250 thousand would be split in the agreement with $200 thousand going to the county and the additional $50 thousand helping to fund the Perry County Fair. Also, according to Alexander, the parking space would still be available for county use in the agreement. The Fiscal Court voted unanimously to pursue this offer.
Next, the Fiscal Court discussed the declaration for a local state of emergency surrounding damage that occurred from storms that moved through the area on May 1. Emergency Management Director Jerry Stacy informed the court that he is putting together an assessment to send to Frankfort. From there, the state will determine if the damage reported meets the threshold required for an overall emergency declaration. If the threshold is met, the documentation will then be sent to Washington for finalization of the process. The Fiscal Court voted unanimously to pursue the declaration of emergency.
The Fiscal Court conducted the first reading of the county’s budget for 2016 through 2017. During this time, Judge Alexander asked if the Hazard Herald would talk with him after the meeting to go over coal severance tax numbers for Perry County. The Hazard Herald will have a separate report on those numbers. While the magistrates looked over the proposed budget, Judge Alexander addressed the public.
“The magistrates and I, we worked really hard over the past year making some cuts and maintaining a county that we can operate, and it’s getting harder, not easier. Some of the things we’ve already done, we’ve cut healthcare some last year. We had to cut some of what we spend at the jail. We’ve cut seniors. If we hadn’t made some hard cuts, and they was hard, we’d be in a financial crisis right now. Each of the magistrates has talked with me and we agree that we need to make every dollar count as far as we can push it out there. We are trying to do that.”
Then Alexander referred to state funding.
“If they cut everything, there’s no way to come up with new money to pay for new cost. The next thing to start cutting is employees and we’re trying to do everything we can to not do that.”
After the magistrates reviewed the budget, the budget was approved by unanimous vote.
Finally, the Fiscal Court approved writing checks to pay for work done during the election. The date for the regular monthly Fiscal Court meeting was changed to May 24 at 10:00 a.m. After that business was taken care of, the meeting adjourned.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.