Fiscal court sets tax rates, buys earthquake insurance


By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com



A meeting of the Logan County Fiscal Court twice a month generates lots of discussion among the six magistrates who conduct the county’s financial business. There are department heads who give reports during the meetings, and there is a time set aside for elected officials such as the sheriff, jailer, clerk and judge to speak on the many items concerning their service.

At the Tuesday, Aug. 9 meeting of the fiscal court Jail Phil Gregory started off by reporting there were 219 inmates in the county jail as of Tuesday morning. Out of that total, 86 are classified as county and 133 as state.

Gregory said the jail had another record breaking month in the collection of revenue for the increasing state inmate population. In June the jail brought in $130,311. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year over $1 million was collected from the state for inmates who are housed at the detention center.

At Tuesday’s meeting First District Magistrate Dickie Carter once again showed his support for an addition to be built onto the jail to house Class D felons. He had mentioned building a metal building similar to a pole barn. Sixth District Magistrate Thomas Bouldin has been against the idea of expanding, and once again spoke against it Tuesday. “The county needs to maximize what it has,” said Bouldin.

Termites have reared their ugly heads at the clerk’s office after excessive amounts of rain caused flooding. Along with the water, termites accessed entrance into the office. Magistrates voted Tuesday to allow clerk Scotty Harper to spend up to $5,000 to get the problem solved.

The county purchased $20 million dollars of earthquake insurance Tuesday. The court turned down a suggestion to purchase a policy in 2011, however, most believed it was time. The policy will be considered a blanket policy, which means the county can use the funds, if needed, on any structure they own. The policy will carry a $250,000 deductible and cost the county $25,304.

“I think the county needs a policy,” said Magistrate Bouldin, who made a motion to purchase a policy. “The county needs to be covered with all the buildings and assets we have,” he said. Magistrate Carter was the only one on the fiscal court that voted no.

Fiscal court set the 2016 countywide tax rates Tuesday. Magistrates and the judge executive voted to keep the real property the same as last year at 13.0 which will increase revenue by $59,209. The increase if due to a rise in property assessments and new construction.

The court voted to keep personal property at 20.0, which is the same as last year bringing in a $31,082 increase. Both watercraft (10.6) and aircraft (20.0) also stayed the same.

Magistrates tabled a vote on repairing the cupola and courtroom ceiling at the historic courthouse. Two quotes came in exactly the same. Magistrates instructed Judge Executive Logan Chick to talk with both companies and find out more details about their quotes. He was instructed to come back to the court with his findings.

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By Chris Cooper

ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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