Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

March 20, 2013

Coroner’s budget, public notices, jail issues on Fiscal Court agenda

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Journal-Times

March 20, 2013 — Carter Fiscal Court met Tuesday to discuss the coroner's budget, ongoing infrastructure upgrades, and monthly financial business.

Coroner George Sparks addressed the Court concerning the activities of his office and his budgetary needs.

He also suggested a joint work session to consider increasing his budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Sparks noted that many of his duties are conducted with equipment owned by his funeral home because those items are not currently provided to him by the county.

The Court also unanimously passed a resolution which empowers Judge-Executive Charles Wallace to begin seeking contractors for replacement of the Proctor Branch bridge.

Under KRS 424.120, a complete copy of that resolution should have been published in the Journal-Times before action was taken by the Fiscal Court.

When notified of this issue, however, Wallace challenged the claim, asserting that the resolution was published properly in another publication.

When the specific statute was read regarding the newspaper in which the county government is legally obligated to publish its notices, Wallace replied, “I don't care.”

E-911 Director Tommy Thompson later added that, during conversations with the Kentucky Division of Water, he was told the notice could be published in any news publication, provided that it was within the legally-established time frame.

The Kentucky Attorney General, however, is the sole governing authority in terms of Open Meetings Law, under which the publishing of public notices falls.

Wallace and Jailer R.W. Boggs also sparred again over jail-related issues.

The conflict in question is a $20,619.20 claim filed by the ambulance service for transport of prisoners dating as far back as 2009, a claim Boggs asserts is inflated.

“There's about $8,000 worth of charges there that we shouldn't be paying because those individuals were transported from the jail after a bond had been posted for them. At that point, it's not the jail's liability,” Boggs said, citing House Bill 463 as the basis for his comments.

Magistrate Clifford Roe then stated, “It's clear we aren't going to get any answers here. We need to talk to someone in Frankfort about where the liability lies.”

The next regular meeting of Carter Fiscal Court is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in Room 201 of the County Courthouse.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.