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Nelson Fiscal Court gets first look at county’s proposed $58.4 million budget

Judge Executive Dean Watts, right, shares information with District 1 Magistrate Keith Metcalfe prior to the start of Tuesday’s meeting of Nelson Fiscal Court.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2022 — Nelson FIscal Court got its first look at the 2022-23 county budget at its meeting Tuesday morning.

Judge Executive Dean Watts proposed $58.4 million includes $8.5 million in $8.4 million in expenditures from the county’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that will be used for capital projects, including $3.3 million for the project to connect Bardstown to the Louisville Water Co. water main in Bullitt County; $2.5 million for expanding internet access into unserved parts of the county; and $1.2 million for industrial park utility work.

No vote was taken on the budget, but parts of it were discussed.

Judge Executive Dean Watts is proposing a 7 percent across the board salary increase for county employees. He asked the court also increase the county’s contribution to $1,500 for employee’s health reimbursement accounts.

He asked the court to approve the proposals and then that much of the proposed budget could be finalized.

According to figures provided by Watts, the proposed raise would mean employees would have received an average yearly raise of 2.48 percent over the past 13 years.

But Magistrate Keith Metcalfe told Watts that the court needed more time to consider the increase, which was the largest across-the-board pay increase for county employees in more than 20 years.

Magistrates Jeff Lear and Eric Shelburne supported having more time to review the matter.

Shelburne said he didn’t disagree with giving county employees raises, but he fletl the court needed time to review the proposal.

Magistrate Bernard Ice made a motion to approve the measures, but after the magistrates agreed to delay a vote, withdrew his motion. The court will take up the matter at its next meeting on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Magistrates Eric Shelburne, left, and Jeff Lear look over documents during Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

MAGISTRATE PAVING LISTS. Two magistrates’ asphalt paving lists were approved by fiscal court during Tuesday’s meeting.

In District 2, Magistrate Gary Coulter has proposed resurfacing 1.198 miles of Pottershop Road, from Pottershop Loop to Ed Brent Lane. He also is proposing resurfacing eight-tenths of a mile of Woodlawn Road between Hilton Lane and 5399 Woodlawn Road..

The projects are expected to cost $127,550.

In District 5, Magistrate Eric Shelburne has proposed resurfacing 1.75 miles of Dugan Lane, and approximately six-tenths of a mile of Timber Creek.

The estimated cost for the projects is $123,600.

BULKY ITEM PICKUP. Assistant County Road Supervisor Lee Mattingly told the court that employees have completed bulky item pickup, which collected 4,228 cubic yards of refuse weighing 903 tons. The pickup also collected 7,635 used tires.

In other business, the court:

— Approved an engineering consulting contract with Horizon Engineering totaling $39,640.

— Approved early renewal of the county’s employee health insurance. Renewing early allowed the county to keep the same rate as last year.

— Approved a buyout of a Washington County deputy sheriff’s employment contract so the deputy can go to work for the Nelson County Sheriff. The deputy will have to agree to stay at least 3 years in Nelson County.

— Approved an agreement to assist in a hazard mitigation project at Fredericktown. The home on Old Fredericktown Road owned by William and Samantha Brady will be raised to eliminate flooding. The county will receive combined state and federal funding to pay its share of $1456,633 for the project. The property owners will pay $19,062 on the project.

— Approved a bid $259,000 for a new high lift for the Nelson County Landfill. The dealer will give $100,000 credit if the old unit is traded in.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court next meets at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

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