By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The boom of businesses wishing to locate in the county took another step forward with the approval of a loan to the local industrial development authority.
The issue was approved during Thursday’s regular monthly meeting of the Laurel County Fiscal Court, with magistrates unanimously voting in favor of the Community Development Block Grant loan of $300,000 to the London-Laurel County Industrial Development Authority.
“This is to help purchase land for the new industrial park in Fariston,” said Laurel County Judge Executive David Westerfield.
The loan will be set at one-half percent interest for five years.
The loan was discussed during the November meeting although the interest rate had not been set at that time. With the expansion of several businesses and the location of several more in the county over the past year, most spots in existing industrial parks are filled. The Industrial Development Authority has been seeking to purchase property in the Fariston area for another business park. In the November meeting, Westerfield said the industrial authority was looking to purchase 45 acres at this time, although there is reportedly a total of 98 acres being considered for the entire development.
Magistrates also approved transferring $200,000 from the county’s Occupational Tax fund to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. Westerfield said that money will assist the sheriff’s office “to operate on until their fees come in.”
Such transfers from one fund to another are routine in fiscal court monetary transactions, said Rick Brewer, Deputy Judge Executive. For example, occupational tax collections are kept in a separate account, then dispersed out to other county departments. In Thursday’s meeting, $450,000 of the Occupational Tax Fund was transferred to the county’s road department, which will be used for blacktopping (and maintaining) the county’s roads. Another $100,000 of the occupational tax funds were transferred to the Laurel County Detention Center.
Other actions taken included:
• Approving a seven-foot easement to the Laurel County School District on the East Fourth Street property where a new vocational-technical school construction project is underway. Westerfield said the Laurel County Volunteer Fire Department had already signed an easement agreement with the school board.
• Approved a pauper’s burial fee for two persons
• Approved a bid for $15,423.89 to Net Gains for a 9-1-1 server. That was the sole bid submitted for the project.
• Approved the 2014 calendar year budget for the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the adjunct 2013 annual order setting maximum salaries and the 2014 annual order setting maximum salaries.
• Approved the second reading to adopt Chips Lane and Les Hubbard Road Extension in District 5 and H.C. Drive and Collett Road in District 4 into the county road system.
• Approved a school bus turnaround on Doshia Drive in District 3.
• Made the first approval to adopt Hemmingway Drive and Pay Lake Road Extension in District 1 into the county road maintenance.