Tabled budget

Magistrate Ronnie Akers, left, asks questions about the Floyd County Fiscal Court’s 2019-2020 budget during a special meeting this week. With support from Akers and Magistrate Mike Tackett, right, the fiscal court tabled the first reading of the budget, opting instead to host a special meeting Friday to discuss it.

The Floyd County Fiscal Court opted to table the first reading of the county’s 2019-2020 budget on Wednesday, after Magistrate Ronnie Akers and Mike Tackett raised questions. 

During a special meeting, Akers requested a budget worksession, saying that the fiscal court has three new members who don’t have a prior budget from which to approve this new budget.

County Treasurer David Layne told fiscal court members that the new budget is “basically the same budget” as this fiscal year, noting that the changes include “taking out the $1.9 million we had in last year’s budget to pay the Southern Water bond that Prestonsburg was going to take over, and now, it’s all unwinding, or whatever, and then we just had more carryover money this year than what we did last year.” 

The budget presented at the meeting totaled $17.5 million in revenues and expenses, about $500,000 less than the current fiscal year budget. 

Akers pointed out that the road fund — budgeted at $3.9 million — increased by $800,000 over last year’s budget. He and Tackett also voiced concerns because funding for school resource officers was not in the budget. 

Layne said he took more insurance premium tax revenue out of the general fund and moved it to the road fund, and he reported that the school district is expected to obtain funding for resource officers. 

Layne told magistrates the court could hold the first reading and change the budget prior to the second reading, but magistrates didn’t want to hold the first reading.

“I’ve been here 12 years and it ain’t never been changed after we send this to Frankfort,” Akers said. Layne disagreed with him, but Tackett made the motion to table the budget reading.

“Yeah, I think that’s probably best,” said Judge-Executive Robbie Williams. 

The fiscal court called a special meeting to be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 24, for a discussion on the budget and the first reading of it. 

Prior to the fiscal court meeting, officials held the annual Local Government Economic Assistance and County Road Aid hearing, with all magistrates, Williams, Layne, Assistant County Attorney Tyler Green, County Clerk Chris Waugh, Deputy Clerk Myra Henry, Finance Officer Camron Stephens, Road Crew Director Steve Little and Road Supervisor Dale Kimber participating. 

Officials reported that the estimates from the state indicate the county will receive $200,000 in coal severance, $970,000 in mineral severance and $1.4 million in County Road Aid. Approximately 30 percent of the Local Government Economic Assistance Funds must be used on coal haul roads. 

The fiscal court also tabled a resolution amending the procurement code so that bids are required for projects that cost $30,000. Previously, bids were required for all projects over $20,000, but legislators increased that amount during the legislative session. 

The fiscal court also unanimously approved pledge that $150,000 in its construction fund would be used as collateral on a loan for the Southern Water & Sewer District. The fiscal court previously approved and paid Southern Water $150,000, with district officials reporting they will return those funds to Floyd County once the loan is approved. 

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