Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

October 17, 2012

Olive Hill audits reveal history of utility fund misuse

(Continued)

Oct. 17, 2012 —

“Until such an ordinance is enacted any surplus earnings shall be paid into the city treasury, to be expended for the general purposes of government in the city.”

Auditor Hatchett, however, determined that this provision does not apply to Olive Hill, because rate increases directly imply that the public utility company does not have profits or extra funds to contribute to the general fund.

Specifically, Hatchett make the following comments:

“While the Utility Fund continues to subsidize the General Fund with transfers, the necessity for utility rate increases clearly illustrates that excess funds do not exist. Therefore, the transfers are contrary to KRS 96.200 and an opinion of Kentucky’s highest court.”

Though this report is just over 12 years old, it appears that the administration in Olive Hill continues to use funds from utility accounts to subsidize the general fund, particularly in the event of a budget shortfall.

During last Monday’s special meeting regarding police salaries, Council member Linda Lowe cited concerns with any potential budget increases that might arise from a pay bump, stating that the city commonly has had to transfer money, “...sometimes as much as $50,000,” to cover budget deficits.

When asked specifically about the transfers, Lowe indicated that funds are placed in the general fund from the utility fund to cover such shortfalls – the very same practice that State Auditor Hatchett told the city to refrain from in both of his reports.

Also, City Clerk Cheri James is quoted in a Journal-Times article from 2007 as saying that she “...could generate $60,000 from the electric department” to offset a shortfall in the budget.

An attempt to verify that comment was unsuccessful. According to James, City Hall only keeps tapes from meetings back to 2008. 
During its August regular meeting, the Olive Hill Council unanimously voted in favor of requesting another audit by the state in response to mounting questions regarding the management of city utility funds. 

Text Only
Local News
  • 16 indicted by Carter grand jury

    Indictments of 16 persons have been handed down by a Carter County grand jury. Although 11 of those were processed June 27, the documents were released Monday to the Journal-Times.

    July 23, 2014

  • Wreck4.JPG Wreck leaves trail of gravel

    Members of Carter County Emergency Management, Norton Branch Fire Department, Kentucky State Police
    and Carter County EMS responded to an overturned truck Monday afternoon.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rex Collins.JPG Package liquor sales begin in Grayson

    It took more than a year, an investment of about $750,000, and a lot of paperwork but packaged liquor went on sale last Thursday in Grayson.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Star Elementary renovation underway

    Ongoing renovation of Star Elementary School was one of the main topics of conversation at Monday night’s meeting of the Carter County Board of Education.

    July 23, 2014

  • Standout Youth Rally

    The third annual Standout Youth Rally will take place this weekend at the Olive Hill Shrine Park. The Christian praise and worship experience is free and includes admission, food, camping and entertainment.

    July 23, 2014

  • Stage lighting welcome at renovated OHHS

    Performers at the Olive Hill Arts and Education Center, previously known as Olive Hill High School, eventually will be highly visible to their audiences in the future, thanks to help from the Carter County Community Fund (CCCF).

    July 23, 2014

  • Olive Hill fire chief to step down

    Olive Hill Fire Chief Wes Gilliam has informed the Journal-Times that he will resign from his position effective July 31.

    July 23, 2014

  • DSC_9807.JPG Beer on sale in Olive Hill

    Malt beverage sales began in Olive Hill last Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • store.jpg Packaged liquor sales begin this week

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_7242.jpg Rodeo rides again at Carter County Fair

    After three years with no rodeo, the bucking broncos will return to the Carter County Fair this Thursday and Friday.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Poll