By Leeann Akers, Editor
Aug. 7, 2013 — A new budget for the city of Olive Hill was tabled at Tuesday night’s special City Council meeting.
When the agenda item was brought up, Mayor Kenny Fankell introduced the budget that had been created in a Council work session.
Also on the table was a second budget presented by Council member Alan Stapleton. Both would require the city pull out of FADE in order to keep 24-hour police protection.
FADE is the FIVCO Area Drug Enforcement task force.
Details of the budgets were not discussed during the meeting, rather the legality of passing two at the first reading.
“Since we have a special meeting, we can’t discuss anything outside of what is on the agenda,” said Council member Glen Meade. “The agenda says one budget, not two.”
Fankell argued that City Attorney George Hogg had advised that both could be passed in the first reading. Since Hogg was not present, Council chose to table both.
After the meeting, Fankell explained that the work session budget would cut nearly $12,000 from each city department to cover an expected $60,736 shortfall in city revenue during 2013-14.
The second proposed budget, which City Clerk Angela Owens compiled at Stapleton’s request, cut $58,736 from the police department and $2,000 from recreation.
“If this budget passes and City Council votes to pull out of FADE, then we could have every police shift covered,” Fankell said.
He explained that by not replacing one officer, James Frint, who resigned earlier this summer, and bringing the FADE officer back to city patrol, the OHPD would be able to offer 24-hour protection.
It was the first time pulling out of FADE had been mentioned as a budget- saving option.
Fankell replaced former Mayor Danny Sparks, who currently awaits trial on drug trafficking charges following his arrest by FADE officers.
FADE also made a recent arrest inside the city in which nearly 30 grams of heroin were seized.
“It is important for John Q. Public to see that 24-hour protection in a uniform out there on our streets,” Fankell said. “No one else has come up with any more revenue ideas and I think this is our only choice.”
According to statistics provided by FADE, the organization has opened an average of eight drug cases per month in Carter County.
Leeann Akers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-5101.