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Facing Budget Crunch, County Officials Hope For State Relief

Fiscal Court OKs Sheriff, Clerk Budgets

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Magistrate Tim Darland, serving as judge-executive pro tem, signs budget documents for Angie Patton of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Facing a financial squeeze between increasing expenses and flat revenues, county officials are hoping for some relief from the state government.

Sheriff Ernie Kelty presented his 2022 budget to the Mercer County Fiscal Court on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Kelty’s office is projecting they’ll have receipts of $1.8 million and disbursements of $1.8 million with a book balance of $789, down from $2,300 the year before. Kelty attributed the decrease in excess fees for the county to higher expenses—including fuel prices—and flat revenues.

“That’s awful slim, folks,” Kelty told the magistrates Tuesday. “Two years in a row we’re working on the same amount of money.”

Angie Patton of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said they were  looking at a $10,000 hit to their budget.

Sheriff Kelty said they were hoping for some relief in the state budget, which  includes a proposed increase for bailiff salaries to $15 an hour. Currently, the state only pays $9 per hour for bailiff salaries. 

The judicial complex is allotted 12 bailiffs, but Mercer has had issues filling the empty slots. Last year, the fiscal court voted to use federal funding to increase bailiff salaries in order to add and retain staff.

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