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Last week, I sent in an incomplete column instead of the complete edited one.  Here it is this week.  I think it is important we understand money flow as a community.  

Before you get into the numbers, I want to share a thought about the Covid19 pandemic.  Is it real, is it fake?  I think it is real.  There is not way you could get the governments of the world working together on something like this.  Should you or shouldn’t you wear a mask.  I do most of the time because I feel it can’t hurt.  I also practice social distancing as much as possible and wash my hands a lot. We have been blessed that we have only one recorded case where a person tested positive, and none have required hospitalization.  There have been rules and orders written at the national, state and local levels, but in reality, it comes down to how you choose to act.  No one will throw you in jail for not wearing a mask.  Some stores may chose not to serve you without one, but that is their right.  However you choose to react to the pandemic, please be respectful and understanding with each other as we navigate this uncharted water together. 

On with the column.

Good Morning! I hope the weekend was good for all.  I got a lot of mowing, weed eating, and tree trimming done on Saturday and my body reminded me I wasn’t 30 any more on Sunday and Monday. Slow and steady may win the race, but it doesn’t make you any less soar.

It is budget time across the state and we are scheduled to have the second reading of the 2020 budget. The Fiscal Court will meet in special session on June 25 at the Happy Top picnic shelter to vote on it.  The community is welcome to attend and the event will be shared on facebook as well. 

Where does the money from to make up what we estimate will be our almost $6,000,000 budget in 2020?

From the local tax payers, using the Receipts for the 3rd Quarter of the current Tax year, we expect to receive from Real property taxes, personal property taxes, Motor Vehicle taxes and Delinquent Proper taxes about $1,176,000. 

From oil taxes, $44,000, but with oil prices fluctuating, that is a tricky one to estimate.

From rent of County owned space (to AOC and Social services, the old health dept, the old swimming pool, happy top, blooming sensations) $173,400.  From various franchises: (bank and cable) $39,886.

From the National Forest, we receive $10,000 to offset the lack of receiving taxes for the approximately 8,000 acres that is owned by them. 

For the Road Dept, there are several pools of money funds that come in and have to be used on the roads are: County Road Aid, Rural Secondary Road, Driver’s License Refund and Truck License refund, which comes to $965,326.  There is also money we compete for against other counties, and there is no guarantee we will receive them, but they include FEMA reimbursement, Dept of Local Government grants, Governor’s Discretionary funds. In 2019-2020 these totaled: $1,015,878.  The Road Dept also is in a contract to buy two tandem trucks annually then sell them as low mileage vehicles at auction. We sold the trucks for about $270,000 this year and purchased two new ones for about the same price.  Some years we actually get more for the sale of used trucks than we paid for them, thanks to government tax breaks and contracting. 

911 receives money from various phone fee taxes and Beattyville pays $30,000 annually as part of an agreement to provide services this totals $221,000.

There are three workers who the county is compensated for; Litter Abatement Officer, Emergency Management Director, and Tourism Director. We receive $57,633 to help offset their employment costs.

The Sheriff pools his funds and brings in about $205,000 in taxes and fines.

The County Clerk turns her excess funds over after paying all costs for her office and that is expected to be a gain of about $7,500

The County gets various grants for programs granted from House Bills like Court Cost, correction assistance, Jail Allotment, and Jail Medical Assistance. That totals about $70,000.

Solid Waste Brings in about $520,000 in garbage collection fees.  The Ambulance Service is anticipated to bring in about $620,000 in fees and grants.

There are many other grants and emergent funding streams that become available as needed and we have united fund way grants Area Development District grants and USDA grants that have to be used for specific things like tractors for the road department We anticipate that will be about $60,000.

We also have property like old vehicles and even buildings that we can sell.  This year we received about $30,000 in funding that way. 

The County Attorney also reimbursed the County about $51,000 in operating expenses this year, because he collected enough in fees to offset costs. 

We are adding a budget line for CARES money, which will be about $250,000 of unexpected funding.

We have no idea how much we will receive in taxes from alcohol sales yet, but that will be a revenue source that will help with law enforcement and administrative costs. 

The budget we will operate under is our best guess based on past and projected income.  I feel very positive about the upcoming year. Even with Covid19, though we will see fewer state dollars for road money, our tax base that is based on real estate taxes has not been impacted as much as those communities that used occupational tax to raise funds. 

This is a quick overview of the budget, but if you would like a copy of it, please send an email to leekyjudge@gmail.com to request one.  If you have any comments, please don’t hesitate to call and discuss issues.

You can follow the government daily on our facebook page lee_county_kentucky_government.

We’ve got this Lee County.

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