On Thursday, July 25, I visited the Kentucky Department of Local Government in Frankfort for the purpose of getting approval for a bond up to $2.4 million to purchase two bush-hogs, and to do needed repair on some county roads before winter. Fall road repair is standard procedure for preparing county roads for winter travel. The cost of current repair on the old bush hogs is more expensive that cost of payments on new ones. During my visit with Director of Local Government, county judge-executive candidate Scott Alexander, Keith Miller, and Sheriff Les Burgett appeared in the office to object to the bond being granted. Scott’s objection was that the money should be used to build a road out of the backside of the industrial park. I explained that the road was already built. Sheriff Burgett explained that he had never gotten what he wanted from me, and that if the bond was granted, he still will not get what he wants. Sheriff Burgett for years has wanted Hazardous Duty Pay. I have objected to it because it increases the retirement cost from 18.4 percent to 39 percent, and once it is done it can never be reversed. If it is put in place in January, it will double Sheriff Burgett’s retirement. You will decide which is more important: doing some much needed county road repair, and replacing worn-out equipment, or doubling his retirement. If he was aware that 35 percent of that amount must be left in the budget when I leave, I wonder if he would still be opposed.
For the record, county bonding potential will remain at about $28.5 million after the bond is completed. When I took the judge’s office in 1999, the debt figure was $18.7 million. it is currently at $4.4 million, one Knott County’s indebtedness for the jail is deducted from it.
In closing, I will be the county judge for five more months, and as Perry County’s chief executive officer, I am still responsible for the safety and general welfare of Perry Countians. I will live up to that.
Denny Ray Noble
Perry County Judge Executive