June 3, 2014

Fiscal court passes first reading of FY 15 $21M budget

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — There are few changes to the upcoming Laurel County Fiscal Court budget from the past year, but the result tips the scale at just over $21 million.

The first reading of the 2014-2015 budget was approved at Thursday’s regular monthly meeting.

The largest expense from the county’s money is $2,123,562 for the city of London’s share of the county’s occupational tax revenues. The estimated funds to operate the occupational tax office, however, is another $421,460 from the county’s money.

The motel and hotel tax, which gives revenue to the London-Laurel County Tourism Commission, is expected to generate $420,000 between the 12-month fiscal year.

 The budget appropriations listed in the ‘rough draft’ budget includes $11,399,142 to the general fund, $3.9 million to the road department, $4.5 million to the jail fund. Another $112,682 was earmarked for the economic development fund as some of the highest expenditures predicted for the upcoming financial year that begins July 1, 2014 and ends June 30, 2015.

Other expenses foreseen by the new budget include Local Government Economic Assistance (L.G.E.A.) at $251,550; Forest Fund, $6,251; occupational tax fund, $421,460; Local Government Economic Development Fund (L.G.E.D.), $102,454; CSEPP (Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program) at $500,000; and $100 to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (L.E.P.C.).

The budget includes the county’s share of maintenance and janitorial services for both the Laurel County Courthouse and the Laurel County Judicial Center — at a total of $153,600. Election costs for the upcoming year — which are paid through the fiscal court — are estimated at $156,400, while housing, transportation and medical costs for juvenile offenders are set at $187,000 of the taxpayer money.

The budget also includes financial support and fees for various other programs including $125,000 to the ambulance service, $637,000 in 911 telephone fees, and $194,000 for the salaries and upkeep of the animal shelter. Expenses for the county’s solid waste department is estimated at just under $200,000 for the upcoming year.

The expected revenues for the county include real property tax, personal property tax, motor vehicle  taxes, excess fees.

Judge-Executive David Westerfield stressed that the budget released following Thursday’s meeting is still under review by magistrates and should be considered as a preliminary to the actual budget.

The budget will undergo its second approval at the June meeting — which is required under state law.

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Drew Allen tried to score in the fifth inning on a single by Braden Houston. Allen thought he slid in under the high tag, but was called out on the play. North Laurel won the game, 5-0, to force a second championship game Friday night, too late for this edition.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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