The Mercer County Fiscal Court has approved a $19.5 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
At Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, the magistrates gave second reading to the county budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which starts July 1. The budget includes appropriations of $4.4 million for the general fund, $2.5 million for roads and $2 million for the regional jail. It also includes an appropriation for $4.2 million in federal funding the county is due to receive through the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as $1.2 million in other federal grants.
While the county has not received the funding yet, the fiscal court voted to hire the Bluegrass Area Development District to help the county with the reporting required to receive the federal funds. Their fee is one-percent of the money being received, with the first payment being due when the county receives the funding. The fee will come from the ARP funds.
After voting to hire the Bluegrass ADD, Judge-Executive Milward Dedman stressed that the agency will not make any decisions on how the funding is used.
“This court will make decisions on how the money’s spent, not Bluegrass ADD,” Dedman said.
He praised the job done by Treasurer Sandy Sanders in assembling the county’s budget-which has to be approved by the state before the start of the fiscal year-while also helping to apply for federal funding.
“This is the earliest we’ve ever approved a budget,” Dedman said.
The budget is available to the public at the Mercer County Fiscal Courthouse.
In other business, the Mercer County Fiscal Court learned Dep. Steve Williams is retiring from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office at end of the month.
“He’s been a very dedicated employee,” Sheriff Ernie Kelty said. “I hate to lose him.”
Dep. Garland Christopher, who previously served as head of security at the Mercer County Judicial Center, will take over Williams’ position.
“We can replace the position but we can’t replace Steve,” said Kelty. “I have no doubt Garland will be as dedicated.”