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Nelson County Fiscal Court briefs from May 2

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By Randy Patrick

Blacktop dollars added to budget

The Nelson County Fiscal Court’s $24 million budget for the 2018 fiscal year was amended Tuesday to put $300,000 into the road fund for paving.

“After about two weeks of consultation and about an inch off of my hide,” County Judge-Executive Dean Watts said, he was making changes to the budget he presented April 18.

The “consensus of the court,” he said, was that there needed to be more money for blacktop because the state had cut its funding.

The road fund will also include $8,000 more to hire a couple of people to measure the widths of county roads.

“It might settle our long-term argument,” Watts said.

He explained that road funding for the magisterial districts is based on miles of road, but it doesn’t take into account width because only the length has been measured.

“It’s to prove a point,” Magistrate Sam Hutchins said, half jokingly.

Watts removed a tandem dump truck from the road fund, delaying its purchase for a year or two to provide cover some of the blacktop funding.

Each magistrate, Watts said, will still get $120,000 per district as in years past, and the additional $300,000 will be allocated to projects based on need.

The budget will also increase funding for the County Attorney’s Office to cover a decrease in the cold checks fund and other revenue sources.

Watts said the county attorney has not asked for an increased contribution from the county’s budget in about 15 years.

The magistrates approved the changes and had the first reading of the budget, which requires a second reading in two weeks before it can become law.

The budget is about $3 million more than the current year’s and includes about a $4.4 million carry-over from this year.

Northeast Nelson budget presented

Chief Ted Shields of the Northeast Nelson Fire Protection District presented the court its annual budget Tuesday.

The spending plan includes $249,040 in revenues and expenditures, which is slightly less than for 2017.

Most of the revenue comes from a special district tax and a carryover of more than $50,000. Most of the spending goes toward salaries, maintenance and repair, insurance, capital outlay and debt service.

State law requires taxing districts to present their budgets and financial information to the Fiscal Court and the state Department of Local Government, but the magistrates neither approve nor disapprove them.

$75,000 to be spent on Tom Greer Road

Under an agreement with the state Department of Highways, $75,282 will be spent by the Fiscal Court on Tom Greer Road.

In other Road Department business:

• No one from the public showed up at a hearing Tuesday on how the county should spend approximately $160,000 from the state Local Government Economic Assistance fund.

The money, which come from the state’s minerals and coal severance taxes, helps fund the county’s roads.

• Harrell’s pressure washing was awarded a bid of $7,000 to clean the Road Department buildings on Boston Road.

Hart appointed to appeals board

The magistrates approved Watts’ appointment of Betty Hart to serve on the Nelson County Board of Assessment Appeals.

The board hears appeals of county property tax assessments by the Property Valuation Administrator’s Office.

Bulky item pickup exceeds last year’s

This year’s bulky item pickup collected more than 1,500 tons of discarded items, or about a third more than in 2016.

In cubic yards, the amount collected was 7,351, or about 3,000 more than last year, according to County Engineer John Greenwell’s report to the Fiscal Court Tuesday.

Collection of tires was down about 3,000, however, at 7,613.

Disposal costs, not including tires, was $61,462, compared to $35,765 in 2016.