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Nelson Fiscal Court approves use of ARPA funds for county worker performance pay

Judge Executive Dean Watts, right, talks with magistrates Gary Coulter, left, and Keith Metcalfe, center, prior to the start of Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021 — Nelson FIscal Court gave its final approval of an ordinance that will give all county essential workers a performance pay payout for working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county will use 3.7 percent of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide a $1 per hour of additional pay to all county employees who worked during the pandemic — from March 2020 to March 2021.

The bonus is a way of thanking county employees and first-responders who remained on the job during the pandemic, Judge Executive Dean Watts told the court.

INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BONDS. The court unanimously approved ordinances that will complete the process required for industrial revenue bonds for Lux Row Distillers and Sazarac, parent company of the Barton 1792 Distillery.

Jeff McKenzie, an attorney with Louisville-based law firm Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, told the court that Barton’s IRB was for $28.5 million, while Lux Row’s increased from the original $11 million to $15 million. The revenue bonds are repaid by the borrower and does not involve the county taking on any indebtedness.

BULKY ITEM PICKUP. The magistrates discussed the order in which the county’s annual bulky item pickup is conducted.

Last year, at the request of District 3 Magistrate Gary Coulter, the order of the pickup was reversed, placing the northwest part of the county first, the southern part of the county second, and the eastern section of the county last.

District 5 Magistrate Eric Coulter said he fielded a lot of complaints about his district being last in the pickup. Most complaints centered on the length of time bulky items were laying out along the side of the road and in people’s yards.

District 4 Magistrate Jeff Lear said he also heard complaints about changing the order of when the areas were collected.

But Coulter and Magistrates Bernard Ice and Keith Metcalfe both said they were happy with the new schedule. In a 3-2 split vote, they voted to leave the order the same as last year.

The pickup usually begins in mid-to-late February and runs through March.

Magistrates Jeff Lear, right, and Eric Shelburne, left, speak with County Engineer Brad Spalding at the conclusion of Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE NCIC SOFTWARE. The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office has been advised by the Kentucky State Police that KSP will end support for its existing software to access the KSP’s server for information from the National Crime Informaiton Computer system.

The software is critical to law enforcement operations by providing deputies with access to run vehicle registrations, operator licenses; check for stolen guns, vehicles and other items.

In the past, KSP covered the cost of the software used by the Sheriff’s Office; but that ends Dec. 31, 2021. The office will be required to fund the purchase of its own licensed and approved software.

The court approved $13,160 for the purchase of OpenFox software from Bolingrbrook, Ill.-based Computer Projects of Illinois. The maintenance and updates for the software are expected to run $5,600 annually.

In other business, the magistrates:

— approved the appointment of Therese Johnson, Adam Wheatley and Renee Courtney to the Extensioin District Board.

— approved the low bid of $180,679.91 from Todd Johnson Construction for replacing the closed bridge on Woodlawn Road.

— heard Watts proclaim Nov. 7 through 13, 2021 as Nurse Practitioner Week in Nelson County.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court next meetings at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in the fiscal court meeting room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse.

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