Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Money issues continue to surface for upcoming fiscal year

J-E Editor
With the new fiscal year only a week away, Webster County officials take a bleak look at the services they are going to be able to provide during 2015-2016. One of the worst hit areas is road paving, which the county will be able to do very little of during the coming year.

Recently the county was visited by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Bridge inspector. The result of that inspection will lead to the construction of three new bridges in the county. Those bridges will take a bulk of the county’s road funds, leaving very little to focus on repaving roads.

On Monday, magistrates reviewed bids for the first of three bridges that will be constructed after July 1, 2015. E & H Bridge in Bedford, IN bid $118,136 for an A-588 steel bridge, while Timberbridge of Kentucky entered a $166,825 bid for a wooden bridge. Both bids were for the bridge itself and did not included demolition of the old bridge or installation of the new bridge.

After reviewing bids, the court voted to table the discussion until they can get bids for the demo/construction. They also voted to seek bids on two other bridges that the state says need to be replaced.

In other business, the court voted to purchase a 52-foot box trailer from Banner Truck and Trailer in Evansville for $27,500. Banner was the loan bidder to respond to the county.
Last month, when attempting to deliver a load of recyclable cardboard to their partner, Tri-County Recycling in Henderson, county employees were turned away. They were told that Tri-County regulations allow them to only accept cardboard that is delivered on a trailer that is less than ten years old. The county’s trailer, which was much older than that, was only used by the county to transport cardboard.

“How are we going to pay for it?” asked treasurer Paula Guinn. “This did not come up until after we’ve already approved the budget for next year.”

“I don’t know,” admitted Judge Executive Jim Townsend. “But we have to have it.”
County Attorney Clint Prow siad that he was in the process of updating some of the county’s administrative codes, something he tries to do every few years. Among the items he is reviewing is a clearer outline of the county’s vacation schedule, the per diem meal rate for county officials and what happens to an employees vacation time when their employment ends.

County officials also made a number of appointments to county boards on Monday. Those include:
•Todd Vanover - Board of Assessment Appeals
•Sue Shouse - Library Board
•Paula Guinn - County Treasurer
•Bill Riden - Ambulance Board

The ambulance board is currently reviewing plans for the former Phillips Auto Body location on 41-A south of Dixon. The board bought the location last year with the intent of relocating from their much smaller facility in the center of Dixon. Initially construction was held up with bids on the project came in higher than expected, now the ambulance board is expecting Baptist Health, who runs the county ambulance service, to seek a rate increase on their services in the next few months.

Guinn estimated that the ambulance service saw a $220,000 loss in revenue during the current fiscal year.

That isn’t an uncommon story across the country. The Affordable Care Act changed the way insurance providers, especially Medicare, pays their bills. If an ambulance ride costs $500, the county might see less than $100 of that money. And that is only if and when the customer pays their bill.

The next Ambulance Board meeting will be held on July 23.

 at 270-667-2068 or

No comments:

Post a Comment