Fiscal Court: Taxes, Leash Law, and Ambulance Board
The proposed sale of property on Rochester Road wasn’t the only business before the Butler County Fiscal Court at its regular monthly meeting for August. Several other agenda items awaited the Court at the Monday, August 12th, 2013 meeting.
After the meeting was brought to order, Sheriff Scottie Ward was first on the agenda. Ward presented his quarterly report to the Court. Ward stated that everything was in order, and that his office was entering its “tight” time of year budget-wise, until tax payments started coming in in October. Ward also reported on his annual state audit. According to Ward everything was in proper order and the auditor told him that his office’s audit had been its shortest to date.
The Court next set county tax rates for 2013. Judge Fields recommended that the magistrates pass a compensating tax rate for personal and real property of 8.40 cents per $100 assessed value, as handed down by the Kentucky Department of Local Government. The rate was set at 8.50 cents per $100 assessed last year, and the compensating rate keeps tax bills roughly at the same amount billed for 2013. The Court passed the rate by a 5-0 vote. The Court then voted 5-0 to keep the existing 10.8 cents per $100 assessed value on motor vehicles and watercraft.
Payments were made for the $100 Mile Litter Abatement Program to the following; Morgantown Church of Christ-$694, BCHS Band Boosters-$605, 2nd District VFD-$610, Temple View Church Youth Group-$614, and Boy Scout Troop #208-$700. Magistrates passed the payments by a 5-0 vote.
Next before the Court was a request by the Butler County Ambulance Board to reappoint Mark Hood and Don Sullivan to the board. No motion was made by the court. Third District Magistrate asked if someone other than the Ambulance Board could recommend candidates for the board. Judge David Fields answered yes, prompting Second District Magistrate Johnny Tuck to ask if the matter could be tabled in order for magistrates to consider other candidates. Judge Fields tabled the matter without action.
Magistrates next voted 5-0 to give Judge Fields the power to accept a bid from the Kentucky Department of Transportation concerning a steel-deck bridge project on McKendree Chapel Road. The action was necessary because the project will be funded by an 80-20 payment agreement between the county and the KDOT. The measure passed 5-0.
The Court then passed the second readings and adopted amendments to both the County Personnel Policy, and the 2013-14 budget. Both measures passed with 5-0 votes.
Judge-Executive David Fields next asked the Court to authorize advertising to fill the position of Director of the Butler County Animal Shelter. Fields reported that the current director is retiring and that the Court will have to fill the position with a full-time employee because of new state regulations.
Magistrate Chad Tyree next presented to magistrates a proposed application and set of guidelines concerning non-profit groups seeking monies from the Fiscal Court. Tyree explained that his form standardized the solicitation process, and sets guidelines that should be met by the group seeking funds from the county. Tyree said he just wanted to give the document to his fellow magistrates and expected no action at the meeting.
After passing routine bills and transfers the Court moved to two items added to the agenda before the meeting.
Chad Tyree told the Court that he had been asked by Third District resident and former Butler County Sheriff Joe Gaddie to rescind a motion made by the Court in 2010. The motion in question was made at the March 8, 2010 meeting of the Court to ask the Kentucky Attorney General for an opinion concerning Gaddie’s alleged use of his police cruiser while campaigning for the primary election.
Some discussion ensued about the request. Judge Fields told the Court, “I’m not sure that there’s anything the Fiscal Court needs to do to make the situation better.”
County Attorney Dick Deye added, “You can’t unring a bell.” He explained to the Court that its action had been taken and there was nothing that could actually be done to change that.
Tyree made a motion to rescind the 2010 motion, but it died for lack of a second and no action was taken.
The other added agenda item came from Flat Rock Hill resident Robert Thomason. He asked the Court if there was a leash law in the county, or if one could be considered. Thomason told the Court that his neighbors had several large pit bulldogs that came onto his property and endangered him and his family. He reported that the dogs had chased him and his wife, and that they had tried to attack them when they were doing yard work and that he had to defend himself with a machete.
Thomason continued that if there was a leash law in place it would make him feel better if he had to shoot one of the dogs.
Sheriff Scottie Ward told Thomason that a county leash law would be hard to enforce. He also told him that he had the right to defend himself or his family from dangerous dogs, but stated that he understood that Thomason was probably trying to not start trouble with his neighbors.
No action was taken on the matter.
With no other items on the agenda the meeting was adjourned.
The next monthly meeting of the Fiscal Court will be a special called meeting on Monday, September 9th, 2013 at the Reedyville RD. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. and like all Fiscal Court meetings is open to the public.
Story by Joe K. Morris, Beech Tree News/WLBQ