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Fiscal court approves 2019 budgets submitted by new sheriff, county clerk

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 — Nelson Fiscal Court approved the 2019 budgets for the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and the Nelson County Clerk’s office at the court’s first regular meeting of the month.

Judge Executive Dean Watts speaks during Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

Judge Executive Dean Watts gave Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa and County Clerk Jeanette Sidebottom kudos for working quickly to get the budgets prepared for fiscal court’s review. He also expressed his satisfaction that both officials worked closely with him during the budgeting process.

This is the first the county has had a newly elected county clerk and sheriff take their offices in the same election cycle, Watts said.

The sheriff’s budget included an estimate of $1.89 million in receipts for the year, with estimated expenses of $1.398 million.

The sheriff’s budget does not include the additional funding provided by Nelson Fiscal Court for the deputies who patrol the county’s roads.

Both the sheriff’s office and the county clerk return unused fees to the fiscal court.

The court also approved an no-interest loan of $400,000 from the state to the sheriff’s office to use for operating funds. In Kentucky, every sheriff’s office begins the calendar year with a zero balance in its accounts. To fund the office’s operations at the start of the year, the state offers a no-interest loan to sheriff’s offices to fund the operation of their office until they begin collecting fees.

AMPHITHEATER PROJECT. The concrete work is essentially complete a the J.Dan Talbott Amphitheatre project. The old stage and sets were removed, and new sets will wind up being built in their place.

Some of the props have to be placed in position prior to the completion of the stage area, Spalding explained. The project is on schedule to meet the April 2019 deadline, he said.

Magistrate Bernard Ice listens to discussion about the progress of the amphitheater project.

COUNTY CLERK HOURS CHANGE. County Clerk Jeanette Sidebottom said her office’s hours will change effective Feb. 1, 2019.

The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday through Wednesday and Friday. The office will be open 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Thursday, and 8-11:30 a.m. on the second Saturday of every month.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE PERSONNEL CHANGES. Sheriff Pineiroa told the court that his Chief Deputy is Joedy Gilliland, who he praised for bringing experience and leadership to the position.

R.B. “Dickie” Jones is now captain of the sheriff’s road patrol, Pineiroa told the court. Sgt. Kaelen Matthews and Sgt. Kevin Cox are the night shift supervisors.

Pineiroa said that by adjusting schedules, he is able to have more deputies on the streets without incurring overtime.

WORK RELEASE DISCUSSION. The court discussed the possibility of having inmates working to help police the county’s roadways with Jailer Buck Snellen.

Magistrate Keith Metcalfe thanked the recently elected county officials for pursuing services to the community.

Snellen said he was open to the idea, though he wasn’t sure how many inmates would be able to qualify, and of those who qualify, how many would volunteer to do the work.

Inmates from LaRue County are often seen picking up trash on state roadways, Watts noted. The LaRue County Jail has a contract with the state transportation cabinet to conduct the garbage pickup, he said.

Magistrate Jeff Lear noted that jail work release programs can be a liability as well as a benefit, specifically if an inmate is injured or brings contraband back into the jail.

In other business, the court:

— heard that bulky item pickup will begin in late February.

— briefly discussed the need to update the county’s administrative codes.

— approved second reading of the county’s cable TV franchise agreement. The new agreement will replace the one that’s since expired.

— heard a report that the roof work on the Old Courthouse is nearing completion. County engineer Brad Spalding shared photos of the roof work taken by the county’s new drone.

— the court approved the following appointments:

Carole M. Bryan as administrative assistant / human resource manager

Rhonda Fenwick, treasurer

Brad Spalding, county road engineer

Royce Fitzpatrick, animal control officer

Joe Prewitt, EMA director

Jonathan Hendricks, assistant EMA director

Logan Spalding, chief building director.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court’s next meeting is 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.

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