Fiscal Court tables controversial industrial development authority ordinance amendments

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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Thursday night’s anticipated meeting of the Clark County Fiscal Court led to some unexpected results at the Clark County Courthouse.

The second reading of a joint ordinance of Clark County and the city of Winchester relating to the amendment of City and County ordinances that established the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority (WWCIDA) was postponed, and the approval of a resolution suspending funding of the WCCIDA was tabled indefinitely.

Shortly after the opening invocation and pledge of allegiance, the Fiscal Court began discussing the previous items referencing the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority.

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Many attended, including Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Brad Sowden, Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed and City Commissioners Kitty Strode and Kenny Book.

During the most recent meeting, a joint ordinance had been approved amending the city and county ordinances about the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Authority.

The amendment primarily pertains to the level of involvement of the Fiscal Court, with several members wanting to be more involved with the meetings to understand what takes place.

Also on the agenda was considering approving a resolution that would suspend funding to the WCCIDA.

The resolution had been on the agenda in the previous meeting, though it was tabled until further discussion.

During that meeting, both items on the agenda led to frequent—and at times contentious—discussions.

One key reason for not taking action on either item—particularly the second—was due to governing bodies still communicating and negotiating with each other.

Other items – including the appointment of various individuals to the Reapportionment Committee – were also tabled, pending further considerations.

The Fiscal Court also adopted a deadline for when to receive information that will be sent out in packets on Friday.

This action ensured the Magistrates had enough time to review the information beforehand.

“This year, we have not received any at all on a Friday,” said Magistrate Robert Blanton. “Most commonly, they’re on a Tuesday [and] sometimes on Monday. There’s a lot of information that we need to go over…there’s just not enough time to do that.”

Barring unusual circumstances, the Fiscal Court agreed that Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. would be the cutoff date to receive information.

The Fiscal Court also agreed to increases in salary for two positions at the Clark County Animal Shelter: Kennel Attendant I and Kennel II.

“Compared to other counties…we really found that we were below or at least on the low end of the pay rates”, said Addie Wills, Director of Clark County Animal Shelter. “A lot of our job inquiries have come from online, and most of those have not followed through once they find out what the pay rate is.”

Currently facing staffing challenges, Wills was asked by Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates if she would need to cut services without more help.

“Absolutely,” she replied.

The salary for Kennel Attendant I will be $13.50/hr, with Kennel Attendant II being $15.00/hr.

The motion passed unanimously.