Fiscal Court approves new fire truck funding plan

Published 10:30 am Thursday, November 2, 2023

Some unexpected developments occurred last Thursday night’s Clark County Fiscal Court meeting.

However, following discussions that were at times lengthy, decisions – as always – were made; the court voted to transfer funds to help pay for the cost of a new fire truck and also approved money with the goal of the Red River Road Project going forward.

Regarding the first matter, Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates spoke later in the meeting.

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Initially, regarding the obtaining of financing for the new Clark County Fire Department truck, KACO (Kentucky Association of Counties) was contacted a few months ago to assist in the matter.

They looked for approval from the DLG or Department of Local Government.

However, a scheduled public meeting of the Department of Local Government on Oct. 19 – when the matter would have taken place – was canceled.

“Once they canceled the meeting, unfortunately, that starts the process over again,” Yates said.

Ultimately, following discussion from multiple magistrates and consultation from Clark County Attorney William Elkins, the court decided to transfer money from funds.

In doing so, financing through KACO was eliminated, while they offered to loan approximately $500,000.

Clark County Treasurer Mary McLemore spoke on the issue after the meeting.

“The Fiscal Court voted to use ARPA funds to pay for the county’s new fire truck,” she said. “They are going to transfer $726,600 from the ARPA fund into the General Fund to pay for the new fire truck. That’s from a separate bank account, so we have to have an order from the court to move that money into the general fund.”

The rescheduled meeting between DLG and KACO, which is set to take place on Nov. 21, would have created challenges.

“It was just too long. We weren’t going to get the financing or the funding for the fire truck until close to the end of December,” McLemore said.

The motion passed unanimously, with several magistrates advocating for quick action.

“I would add to that that said payment be made tomorrow or [the] check…be issued tomorrow,” said Magistrate Chris Davis.

Also, Clark County Road Supervisor Allan Curtis addressed the court.

Among other points, he addressed the need to work on the Red River project, beginning at the intersection of Clark County’s Red River Road and Baesler Lane.

Baesler Lane, featuring several residential homes, runs toward a low-water crossing near the Kentucky River.

At the discretion of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, $153,017 was previously approved for paving the road.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of an approved contract, only repairs from monies provided by the Clark County Road Department have taken place to date.

Magistrate Dan Konstantopoulos spoke to the issue.

“I’d [like to] go ahead and offer up a motion that we approve this resolution memorandum of agreement between the Clark County Fiscal Court and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Department of Highways for the amount of $153,018 for the Red River Road Project,” he said.

The motion was seconded by Magistrate Mark Miller, with Konstantopoulos adding that the resolution authorizes the signature on the contract for Les Yates.

The motion then passed unanimously.