Courthouse now "tobacco free' on 3-2 vote; changes made to ambulance board
The Butler County Courthouse is now a “tobacco free” building,and the ambulance board will now consist of five board members instead of three. Both decisions were made at a called meeting of the Butler County Fiscal Court on Thursday night , August 29th.
Second District Magistrate Johnny Tuck made the motion with Third District Magistrate Chad Tyree providing the second to make the Butler County Courthouse a tobacco-free building. Fourth District Magistrate David Whittinghill agreed with the Tuck and Tyree and the motion passed by a 3-2 vote. Fifth District Magistrate Keith Daugherty and First District Magistrate Stevie Givens voted against the motion. Givens expressed concerns about the enforcement of the ban.
Tuck first wanted all county buildings to be included, but changed to just the courthouse.
“I have had people ask me to make the courthouse tobacco free,” said Tuck.
Butler County Judge-Executive David Fields asked Sheriff Scottie Ward, County Road Supervisor Timmy West, and Ambulance Director Brian McKinney for their comments. All three disagreed with Tuck’s motion.
“My office has the biggest users of tobacco. I asked the cleaning lady if it was a problem with her and she said absolutely not,” said Sheriff Ward.
“How does me dipping bother other people?” asked West.
Despite the opposition of Ward, West, and McKinney, the measure passed on a 3-2 vote.
The court then moved to a lengthy discussion concerning the Butler County Ambulance Board. Judge Fields asked the court how they wanted the appointments to the ambulance board to be handled.
“ This is a very important board, these are critical positions. The ambulance department is in better shape than it has ever been,” said Fields.
The court voted unanimously to increase the ambulance board from three members to five.
“When the board was initially developed, the law stated it would consist of three members, but the law has been revised to read “ three or five members,” said Judge Fields.
Current Ambulance Board Chairman Don Sullivan supported the increase of board positions.
“I have no problem with five members. It would actual help with parliamentary procedures and in cases when a board member cannot attend a meeting,” said Sullivan.
The magistrates also agreed to submit two names each for consideration of appointment to the ambulance board . Judge Fields will make recommendations from the suggestions. The final decision will be made by the court.
Magistrate David Whittinghill stated that he had contacted the Department of Local Government (DLG) in Frankfort concerning ambulance board member Mark Hood, owner of Hood’s Market, having the bid for gas for the ambulances.
“I was told by Robert Brown of DLG that it was a conflict of interest,” said Whittinghill.
Sullivan responded stated that the board had also been concerned about the situation and had contacted the same organization DLG and was told it was not a conflict.
“Hood’s Market was the only bid submitted to the board. We must have access to gas 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Brian McKinney. “If we have made a mistake, it is an honest mistake.”
Mark Hood stated, “That is fine - don’t buy gas from me.”
The court agreed they need a statement in writing from the Department of Local Government to clear up this matter.
Magistrates are to have their list of names for consideration submitted by September 6th.
In other business the county tax rates were set. The following rates were approved by the court:
- Real Estate (compensating rate is 8.3)
- Tangible Personal Property (8.3)
- Motor Vehicle & Water Craft (10.8)
- Fire Acres (0.03)
- Bank Franchise (0.25)
The court approved payment to Butler County Boys and Girls Club of $12,500.
The court reviewed and approved an application for non profits request for contributions. The application must be submitted by March 1st .
The court approved the purchase of six recycling bins (the trailer type) from Metal Works in Greenville, Kentucky. The city of Morgantown will have three and the county will have three bins. Funding for the project came from a $58,295 grant for reycyling.
In other business the court approved the hiring of Jerry Mellor as the full-time operator of the Rochester Ferry at the annual salary of $23,344.88.
The court also approved $11 per hour as the starting pay for a full time Animal Shelter Director. No director has been named. Interviews will start soon.
The next regular meeting of the Butler County Fiscal Court is September 9th at the Reedyville Rural Development Center at 6:00 p.m.