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County Gives First Reading To $19.5 Million Budget

Fiscal Court Applies For Utility Assistance Grant

File photo.

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

The Mercer County Fiscal Court gave first reading to a $19.5 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget represents a significant increase over last year’s $12.5 million budget. County Treasurer Sandy Sanders attributed most of that increase to federal COVID-19 funding and carryover funds from last year including $4.3 million in funds from the American Recovery Plan. The fiscal court will give second reading to the budget at their next meeting on Tuesday, May 25, at 10 a.m.

Budget drafting time is hectic for any treasurer, but Sanders has been even busier than usual. In addition to making budget revisions, including revising the county’s payscale, adding line item for tools for the road department and purchasing a vehicle, she has had to make sure the county was jumping all the proper hoops and hurdles to qualify for federal funding. She said there is the possibility of revising the current budget because of the grant money the county has received. Sanders said they had received final disbursement from CARES Act funding.

“COVID moneys have been great, but they’re a lot of work,” said Judge-Executive Milward Dedman.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Dedman thanked Sander for her hard work on the budget.

The fiscal court also held a public hearing on a $200,000 utility assistance grant the county is applying for. Karyn Leverenz, the infrastructure development coordinator with Bluegrass Area Development District, said her agency will administer the fund once it has been awarded. Leverenz said only cities and counties are eligible to apply for COVID-19 utility relief. Mercer County qualifies, as 51-percent of the utility relief funds will benefit residents earning low to moderate incomes. Once the funding is expended, the county can apply for further funding, Leverenz said.

She said once the grant is awarded, Blue Grass Community Action Partnership will work on getting the aid to recipients. Leverenz said they had prepared a form letter for all utility providers and were looking to advertise on Facebook and the internet. There were no comments during the public hearing.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe to the online version.

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