Court approves $28.5 million bond issue for Barton 1792 rickhouse construction

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020 — Nelson Fiscal Court approved a resolution in support of industrial revenue bonds totaling $28.5 million for the construction of three new bourbon rickhouses to serve the Barton 1792 Distillery operation in Bardstown.


The 30-year bonds mean that the property owners will not pay property taxes during the life of the bond issue. However, this doesn’t mean that the new warehouses won’t generate revenue for the county and the school system, according to Judge Executive Dean Watts.

Watts said the three new warehouse are expected to eventually generate about $47,000 annually in distilled spirits tax to the county, and the distillery will also pay the school system payments in lieu of taxes, as in the case with other companies who warehouse their aging bourbon in Nelson County.

Watts praised Sazarec’s moves to expand the Barton 1792 Distillery operation, noting that since the company acquired Barton’s the employment has jumped from 175 employess to 475 employees.

The company expects to add six new jobs with the addition of the three warehouses, he said.

COVID QUARANTINE AT COUNTY JAIL. Jailer Buck Snellen told fiscal court that 90 percent of his jail employees have recovered and are out of quarantine and back to work.


The jail is housing 56 inmates currently, most of which are under quarantine for COVID-19.

Snellen said that new arrests in Nelson County are being detained at the LaRue County Jail for the time being. Thirteen Nelson County inmates are currently house in LaRue County.

He told the court that he hopes to bring all county inmates back to the Nelson County Jail by the end of September.

ANNUAL LIBRARY REPORT. Nelson County Public Library Director Sharon Shanks provided Nelson Fiscal Court with her annual report, which included the library taxing district’s new tax rates.

Due to the increase in assessments, Shanks said the library board lowered the tax rate from 7.4 cents per $100 in value for real estate and personal proerty to 7 cents per $100 in value for both. The change means about $8,000 less in tax revenue for the library, which is funded mostly by tax dollars.

The library is anticipating re-opening to the public at the end of September unless the county experiences a spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases, she said. The library is currently offering programming online, and is offering curbside service for checking out library materials.

In other business, Nelson Fiscal Court:

— approved a motion to order a new half-ton Ford pickup truck for the county’s animal control officer. The county will pay the state contract price for the vehicle, which will be provided by Conway Heaton.

— heard that Nelson County Clerk Jeanette Sidebottom is still waiting for the state election officials to approve the county’s plans for the November election. Watts said there will be a banner placed on the Old Courthouse to encourage people to vote early.

— approved advertising for a bid to remount an existing ambulance “box” on a newer truck chassis. The remount allows the county the cost of purchasing an entire new ambulance by reusing the main compartment by mounting it on a new chassis.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will hold two special meetings later this month. The court will meet at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 to hold a public hearing on the county tax rate. Following the hearing, the court will hold a special meeting to give first reading on the new tax rate.

The court will hold a second special meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, to hold second reading on the tax rate.


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