Budget votes imminent for county, city

With the end of the fiscal year coming Saturday, Clark County and Winchester officials are planning to approve their respective budgets this week.

State law requires that budgets be approved with two readings by June 30 each year. Counties have the additional requirement of submitting their budgets to the Department for Local Government for its review.

The Clark County Fiscal Court is expected to vote on the second reading of its budget this morning during its regular meeting in the Clark County Courthouse. The Winchester Board of Commissioners called a special meeting for 8 a.m. Thursday for the second reading of its budget and several end-of-year matters.

The county’s budget totals nearly $16 million, including mandatory increase of $123,000 for additional retirement contributions. Initially, the county was facing a $600,000 increase for fiscal year 2019, but the Kentucky General Assembly approved a bill at the end of the session to allow the increases to be phased in over several years. There will be a maximum 12 percent increase each year until the full amount is paid.

The City of Winchester was facing a $1.1 million increase, but that was reduced to $320,000 with the phase-in plan.

The city’s budget calls for $19.89 million in expenditures and $17.84 million in revenue. A projected carryover of $5.3 million will cover the difference, though City Manager Matt Belcher told commissioners revenue will not keep up with expenses beginning in fiscal year 2020.