In Jan. 17-23, 2008 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
JAMESTOWN - After being asked to hire a new employee for the recycling center, make a donation to a children's program and pay-up on promises to the local fire departments, the members of the Russell County Fiscal Court were told the county wouldn't be in the red this year after receiving $110,946 from the Lake Cumberland concession fees paid to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Many of the elected officials on the court had been working under the impression from a meeting with state accountants in December that the county was headed for a year-end deficit of somewhere around $100,000.
After asking them to spend money that they didn't think they had, County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner's comment to the magistrates was, "Being as you've done that, I'll tell you this."
It was then, with only a few informational items yet to be presented to the court, that Garner informed the magistrates about the $110,946 he said the county will be receiving.
Before they were aware the county may not be in as extreme a financial bind as they'd been told, the magistrates did not okay the money to support the Catch a Rainbow fishing derby.
Magistrate Steve Bledsoe had said he regularly contributes to the program himself and he was joined by Magistrate Gary Robertson in encouraging others on the court to donate personally since they'd been told the county was over-budget.
Calls to state officials and the Corps in an effort to confirm the amount of money the county would be receiving yielded no results.
Bill Peoples with the Corps said the closest he could suggest the amount would be is half that received in previous years, which was according to his figures a little more than $150,000.
Half of that amount would be $75,000. Peoples explained that the concession operators, mostly marinas, on the lake only paid half of their regular yearly fees last year because of the Corps' decision to lower the water level of the lake, seriously impacting the income at the marinas. Just before Garner made any mention of the un-expected money, he said the county will be receiving he brought up the issue of local fire service payments.
"Y'all want to give away money," Garner said to the magistrates. "I have been hit up by three different fire department for the money we normally give them."
He outlined what "we normally give them," and asked the members of the court if they would approve that.
One of the members of the court pointed out that the amounts outlined were what the county agreed to pay the department and that these were part of the budget.
The magistrates all voted to honor the over $21,000 in commitments they had made in the budget for the emergency services agencies.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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