Carter says Library has over $6 million in reserve
LOUISA – Lawrence County Fiscal Court held their regular monthly meeting on August 22, 2109. The Court made decisions from approving donations for Septemberfest to having conflict with the Library taxes and how funds are being spent.
They held the Opening Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance before calling the meeting to order.
- Approve minutes of the July 16, 2019 Regular meeting and The Aug. 5, 2019 Special Meeting. Motion made by Rick Blackburn, second by Mike Halcomb.
- Approve of 1st Reading of Budget Amendment #1. Motion made by Mike Halcomb, second John Scaggs.
- Approve Bills. Motion made by David Pinson, second by Rick Blackburn.
- Approve Treasurer’s Request. Motion made by Rick Blackburn, second by Mike Halcomb.
- Accept Treasurer’s Report. Motion made by David Pinson, second by Rick Blackburn.
- Update from Teleworks – Teleworks representative was proud to report Lawrence County has 28 hires and Teleworks is currently hiring this is bringing in more revenue for Lawrence County as a whole.
Approved Donation to Septemberfest in the amount of $1000.00. Motion made by David Pinson, second by Rick Blackburn.
Approved Resolution and Agreement with Commonwealth of Ky. Department of Rural Secondary Program (Flex Funds $181,701). Motion made by Rick Blackburn, second by David Pinson.
Discussed raising tax rates for the Library:
According to information provided by Judge/Executive Phil Carter currently Lawrence County is the 5th highest in the State of KY. for library taxes at 14.7% paying the highest salaries with miscellaneous expenditures such as purchasing vehicles and building expansions.
The Court decided not to accept an increase in the tax rate at this time after a presentation by director Carlie Pelphrey who said today that there was no request for a raise in the library tax in the budget, anyway.
“We need to change how the library assesses its needs,” Judge Executive Phillip Carter said. “We need to lower the rate and I will not sign anything at this time if it is run like it has been run in the past.”
“We are not against the library in any way. We just feel the excess funds should be applied to the children.”
In response to Carter Ms. Hillman issued the following statement:
“…The Board of Trustees did not raise the library tax. They voted to keep the property and real taxes at 14.7 again this year, which is below the compensating rate. See attached document for historical tax rates.
Furthermore, I’d like to address several comments made by Judge Carter in the August 20 Fiscal Court meeting. The information below is per the KDLA 2017-2018 Statistical Report at: https://kdla.ky.gov/librarians/plssd/Documents/KDLA1718.pdf.
Items of note that were addressed in fiscal court:
*We are not in the top ten for library revenue.
*We are not in the top ten for staff salaries.
(It was stated we were ranked fifth in the state.)
In comparison with the other libraries in the state we rank:
#47 in LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE
#42 in OVERALL REVENUE
#60 in TOTAL SALARIES
In comparison with other libraries in the state we ARE IN THE TOP TEN:
NUMBER OF CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS (#8)
NUMBER OF CHILDREN’S PROGRAM ATTENDANCE (#3)
NUMBER OF YOUNG ADULT PROGRAMS (#4)
NUMBER OF YOUNG ADULT PROGRAM ATTENDANCE (#7)
NUMBER OF ADULT PROGRAMS (#9)
TOTAL NUMBER OF PROGRAMS (#6)
TOTAL PROGRAM ATTENDANCE (#8)
REFERENCE TRANSACTIONS (#6)
REGISTERED USERS (#6)
Carlie N. Pelfrey, Director
Lawrence County Public Library…”
Carter has appointed two new members to the five member library board in recent months and has expressed concern over the use of library funds.
It is not clear whether or not the fiscal court has any sayso over the library tax except to agree to accept the library budget into the minutes of the court.
HERE IS A STATEMENT RELEASED BY JUDGE/EXEC. CARTER THIS AFTERNOON:
“…The Lawrence County Fiscal Court is in full support of the Library and believe that they do wonderful things for our children and our community. We just feel that the large sum of money they have accumulated which is in excess of $6,000,000. could help our community and rural children and would also justify lowering their current tax rate.
We feel the summer feeding program that is held at the library in partnership with the USDA Summer Food Service Program is fantastic and are so glad that they are a sponsor in that program. In no way is the Lawrence County Fiscal Court or the Lawrence County Judge Executive against the Lawrence County Library. We would very much like to work with the Library.
The Lawrence County Fiscal Court’s desire is that the Library lower its tax rate to lower the burden of the tax payers in our county. According to the 2018 Kentucky Department of Revenue our Library has the 5th highest property tax rate in the State at 14.7.
To reiterate the Lawrence County Fiscal Court is in no way anti-library to the contrary we love and support what the Lawrence County Library does for our County, our only displeasure is the tax rate 14.7 and excess funds. The Fiscal Court feels that the Lawrence County Library could be managed at the same level as now while lowering the rate…”
The court also:
- Discussed work permits for companies working in the county in order to compile an Information Data Base. The permits would allow the county to know who is working within the county and the location to protect the roads or highways from possible damage left behind. This was tabled to the next meeting. Motion made by Rick Blackburn, second by Mike Halcomb.
- Discussed Resolution to Commit $5,000.00 to the Kentucky Mountain Recreational Authority for the Hiring of an Executive Director and Staff was tabled to the next meeting.
- Accepted Sheriff’s 2018 Tax Settlement. Motion made by David Pinson, second by Rick Blackburn.
- Accepted Sheriff’s 2018 Franchise Settlement. Motion made by Mike Halcomb, second by Rick Blackburn.
- Accepted Sheriff’s 2018 Gas and Oil Settlement. Motion made by Rick Blackburn, second by Mike Halcomb.
- The Guardianship Evaluation Fees and the discussion on Hylton and Rood Rd. Closures were both tabled until next meeting.
- Public Comments were heard and updates from the Board Members on their steady progress. Motion made by David Pinson, second by Mike Halcomb.
- Adjournment motion made by Rick Blackburn, second by Mike Halcomb.