Court approves fire, health tax rates
In the shortest meeting in recent memory - 25 minutes -- Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday unanimously approved tax rates for the Woodford County Fire Protection and Public Health Districts. The fire rates are 6 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate, personal property and inventory, with rates of 3.7 cents for aircraft, watercraft and in-transit inventory. The health rates are 2 cents per $100 of assessed value for all six categories. Election news County Clerk Sandra Jones told the court her office was prepared for a heavy turnout for the Nov. 8 general election. Jones said she'd asked the Woodford Board of Education to ask for a loan of one iPad per precinct to be used as a precinct locator tool, and the board agreed to loan Jones two iPads per precinct. Jones said her office receives an influx of calls from precinct officers asking questions regarding voters, and that the iPads would connect to the Bluegrass Area Development District website. Jones also reported that the state Board of Elections sent her office a check for $3,781 to reimburse the county for election expenses - $199 per precinct. A second reimbursement of $7,111 will follow for election personnel expenses, which Jones said comes close to paying for the county's general election expenses. New directors Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director Freeman Bailey and Maintenance Director Rick Wade made their first appearances before the court. Bailey received unanimous approval for one-year renewals of the county's contracts with Bluegrass Community Hospital to provide ongoing EMS training and tuberculosis (TB) testing to EMS workers. The TB tests will cost $12.70 each. Wade received the court's approval for the authority to choose an inmate from the Woodford Detention Center to do various chores around the courthouse. The move was approved in a department head meeting, Judge-Executive John Coyle said. Wade informed the court that the handrail in the courthouse annex leading to the basement is loose and wobbling. The problem will be fixed by a contractor on Saturday, Oct. 1, at no cost to the county. Wade also said the damaged curbs from the back corner of Court Street to the sheriff's office, which are on city land, will be repaired soon by the city of Versailles. EM director certified Emergency Management (EM) Director Drew Chandler told the court that he was certified as a Kentucky Emergency Manager at last week's Kentucky Emergency Management Association conference. Chandler is one of eight county EM directors, and the only part-time EM director, to receive such certification. Hazardous Waste Day Recycling Director Sherri McDaniel said Saturday's Hazardous Waste Day, which allowed residents to drop off such items at the recycling center, was a success. McDaniel said 362 vehicles dropped off items "without a hitch," and thanked Woodford Jailer Michele Rankin for the work of seven "hard-working, diligent inmates." Library report The court accepted into its record the 2016 Woodford County Library's annual report for fiscal 2016 (which ended June 30), which showed library tax revenue of $1,556,240 and state aid of $18,199. The total operating revenue was $1,646,517. Total staff expenditures, including benefits, was $889,316. More than $86,000 was spent on building maintenance. Conservation district report The court also accepted the annual report of the Woodford County Conservation District. The report showed revenue (almost all from taxes) of $156,276.92 and a payroll of $108,163.25. Total receipts were $269,338.61. Expenses included $21,180.79 for education and promotion, $30,041.40 for program expenses and $9,127.49 for dues and reimbursements. The district's balance at the end of fiscal 2016 was $111,601.04. Coyle returns A newly bearded Coyle returned from what he said after court was the first two-week vacation of his life. (Coyle's extended family went to Hilton Head, S.C.) He thanked Magistrate Gary Finnell (Dist. 3) for serving as judge-executive pro tempore while he was gone. County Attorney Alan George wondered if there might be a correlation between Coyle's absence and the next meeting being so short.