Fiscal court approves ordinance changing meeting times

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Clark County Fiscal Court met again on Thursday, Jan. 25th, and per usual, there were several discussion points. 

The court agreed to change hours for upcoming 2024 meetings – with certain expectations – while clarifying budgetary questions related to the Clark County Detention Center. 

Earlier this month, the first reading of an ordinance change that sought to move the time of fiscal court meetings up by one hour passed via a 5-1 vote. 

Email newsletter signup

With the same ordinance passing upon second reading, newly scheduled regular meetings will now occur on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:30 a.m. and the fourth Thursday at 5:30 p.m. 

Seeking to avoid potential conflict, Magistrate Robert Blanton – the lone “no” vote at the previous meeting – recommended moving certain dates.

Specifically, moving the meeting on Feb. 22nd to Feb. 29th, Jun. 12th to Jun. 15th, Nov. 13th to Nov. 12th, and Nov. 28th to Nov. 27th. 

Reasons included interfering with planned events and upcoming holidays. 

Such changes were approved unanimously. 

Additionally, questions and concerns surrounding monies used for projects at the Clark County Detention Center were raised. 

In November 2022, a $1.8 million bond was applied for to the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACO) to complete projects for improvement. 

Of that money, a bid by Fayette Heating and Air Conditioning to install new HVAC was accepted for $1,599,990, a bid by DRD repair for a walk-in refrigerator was accepted at $50,000, and $47,000 was used to support a new vehicle for the home incarceration program. 

As a result, a surplus of $103,010 remained. 

In order to ensure the proper amount – which had been budgeted for previously – would be received, a line item had to be added for an amendment. 

Thus, on Thursday evening, the first reading of an ordinance concerning such an amendment was read. 

Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos, based on personal research, raised concerns. 

He noted that the agreement was for $1.8 million with a 20-year amortization, or period during which fixed, periodic payments are applied to both the principal and interest until the loan is paid in full. 

However, the estimated amount to be received was between $1.9 million and $2 million. 

Seeking answers, he reached out to Kelly Collins Mittler, the finance officer at KACO. 

“She said, ‘Daniel, I’ve looked through all my records. I don’t know how that amount got changed,'” Konstantopoulos noted. “‘She said, ‘More than likely, I received a phone call that said we may need additional funds and then they bumped it up and so forth.'” 

Konstantopoulos noted that he was concerned about any such action taking place without the awareness of the court.

Regarding the need for further clarification, he added. 

“I had requested from the judge today [that] we really need to get all the documents that are involved in this whole thing,” he said. 

Ultimately, only the $1.8 million that was agreed to be received was approved. 

Clark County Jailer Frank Doyle sought to clarify the use of the $1.8 million. 

“This money is strictly for the upkeep of failed equipment in this building. It is not money that’s going to the jail for the cost of operation. This is the county’s building”, he said. “I don’t want the public to think, ‘They put another $2 million into this jail. What are they doing?’ I don’t want people to think we’re standing on the roof throwing money out the window and that’s all we want to do.”