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City council reviews current budget, discusses next year’s financial challenges

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 — The Bardstown City Council spent much of its work session Tuesday evening on the year-to-date budget figures and a discussion of the anticipated changes that will be reflected in the 2019-20 budget.

Tracy Hudson, the city’s chief financial officer, answers questions regarding the spreadsheet regarding the first seven months of the city’s 2018-19 budget.

Tracy Hudson, the city’s chief financial officer, reviewed the year-to-date budget and answer councilman’s questions.

PENSION. Mayor Dick Heaton said the city anticipates an increase in its pension contributions for the next fiscal year to top nearly $200,000. That will push the city’s total pension contribution for the next fiscal year to just under $2 million.

The city’s finances are in good shape, and the city will be able to handle the additional required pension expenses, he said.

HEALTHCARE. The city has been self-insured for a number of years, Heaton explained, and in recent years it has focused on helping employees improve their health and lifestyles. As a result, the per-employee health insurance costs dropped for the current fiscal year, and are on track for the city to see a drop in its healthcare costs in the next fiscal year.

OTHER EXPENSES. Due to fewer losses, the city expects to see its workers compensation costs to drop as well.

The city is expecting to seek bids later this year for construction / remodeling projects that will involve the new city fire station on the former Newcomb Oil property on KY 245, and the public works department. Initial estimates for the work are about $500,000, but if the projects exceed that, then the city may borrow the money to pay for them.

Mayor Dick Heaton swore-in new city police officer Brian Jennings, and two city firefighters who are being promoted — Trevor Mattingly to captain and Kevin Grayson to lieutenant.

Heaton told the council that the Bourbon City Community Alliance was discussing how the city can adopt rules that would allow murals in appropriate places within the city. Other cities make allowances for them as ways to beautify the cityscape and add visual interest. The murals would avoid any sort of commercial messages.

In other business, the council:

— held swearing-in ceremonies for Brian Jennings, a new member of the Bardstown Police Department. Jennings and his family live in Nelson County. He is a transfer from another police department.

— swore in two city firefighters to their new positions, including Trevor Mattingly who was promoted to captain, and Kevin Grayson, who was promoted to lieutenant.

NEXT UP. The Bardstown City Council next meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, 2019, in the council room adjacent to the Rec. Center gym on Xavier Drive.

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