It was good news for jail employees during the last regular session of the Carter County fiscal court. The court took action last Monday to approve a request from Carter County jailer R.W. Boggs to boost pay for all jail employees by five percent.

The move will also boost starting pay for jail employees from $10.10 to $11.50 per hour.

Boggs first made the request during the June 10 meeting of fiscal court, noting that he has lost employees to other jail systems because of the pay gap. During that meeting Boggs also told the court he would not need to request any additional funds from the county for the pay increase, as the extra funds were already in his budget.

The move took the form of an amendment to the minutes of the last regular session of fiscal court, where they discussed the measure but failed to take action.

"It's important that we maintain our staff," Judge Executive Mike Malone said of the move, reiterating statements from Boggs about the loss of experience that comes with any employee turnover.

The court voted unanimously to amend the June minutes to authorize the change, with Malone saying the court would next look at what the impact would be of two, three, and five percent wage increases for all other county employees. Any move to increase wages across the board could have a huge impact on the county budget, he noted, not just because of the payroll increase but because of increased payments for pensions and other related costs.

In other action, the court was back looking at roads. Reggie Hill Road was on the agenda, with some residents asking for county maintenance on a road that they say was taken into the county system years ago. Malone, however, said that the road is shown as a private road on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website. If the court can find documentation showing that the road was taken into the county system in the past, he said, the county would take care of maintenance on the road. If the court cannot find documentation of Reggie Hill Road being taken into the county system they can begin the process of taking it into the county system, provided it meets all of the requirements for a county road.

The court also discussed the financing of equipment for use on road improvements. The pneumatic roller approved during a special session of fiscal court was due to be delivered on Tuesday, Malone told the court. That equipment will be with county crews on a 30-day trial. If the county decides to keep it at the end of that period, payment of $65,280 would be due.

Malone also told the court that he planned to meet with Department of Local Government to discuss the county's ability to issue bonds for the purchase of other road equipment, including an $85,000 reclaimer for use by road crews. The county also discussed the purchase of an $18,000 steel drum roller.

Malone said he is also in discussions with Elliott County Judge Executive Myron Lewis to work out a deal to use their oil truck for asphalt projects. One option would be for the county to rent the truck from the neighboring county. Another would be to work out a deal for the use of Carter County's equipment by Elliott County crews.

The court also heard from various departments, accepting reports from the dog warden and the sheriff. The Carter County sheriff office reported 1,536 total contacts for the month of June. This included 47 processes served, 62 processes attempted, 61 warrants served, 82 arrests, 49 citations, 14 traffic stops, 28 accidents, 23 motorists assists, 7 domestic calls, 20 assists for other agencies, 366 complaints, 212 prisoner transports, 189 vehicle inspections, and 396 sheriff contacts.

Animal Control reported taking in 46 total dogs for the month, and adopting out eight of those dogs, reuniting another eight with their owners, and surrendering 29 to rescue agencies. There were a total of nine dogs left at the shelter at the end of the month. According to the department's book keeping, the month of June saved the county $3,450 over what they would have paid if they continued to send their animals to shelters in neighboring counties.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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