County takes on lease for child support office

The Clark County Fiscal Court will assume the lease for the county’s child support collection office, in hopes of collecting a state reimbursement on the rent.

In Clark County, the county attorney’s office in contracted with the state to operate the office, County Attorney William Elkins said. The program generates no fees for the county, he said, and the state funding which operates the office has been reduced.

Elkins said he was planning on moving the office and its staff from its current location at 61 S. Main St. to his former office at 7 Cleveland Ave. The office space and building are owned by a private company, he said, which he rented from for 19 years.

Elkins said the rent would be the same at $1,100 per month, but the office would be closer to the court clerk’s office and would be eligible for a 66 percent reimbursement on rent.

With state funding set in the contract and no local fees, Elkins said this is the only way to generate additional revenue for the program, which is currently ranked last in the state and has a 434-case backlog.

“I think it’s important we keep that program local,” said Magistrate Chris Davis. He’s also trying to right the ship.”

Magistrate Robert Blanton voiced the only opposition because the source of funding for the lease was not identified and it was not in the current budget. Blanton suggested delaying action until the new budget was approved later this year, but Elkins said the reimbursement offer may not be available then.

The matter was approved 6-1 with Blanton voting no.

Later in the meeting, the court voted unanimously to create and fund a temporary part-time detective position for the county attorney’s office. Elkins said the detective would be capped at 100 hours per month and would be able to investigate complaints, including property and animal complaints, and possibly testify in court.

“It’s something that is being offered,” Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos said. “I think we can definitely afford it.”

Elkins said he had funds available from two vacant positions, one of which he does not plan to fill.

“I don’t need a detective,” Elkins said. “It’s the community that needs one.”

In other action, the fiscal court:

— heard a request from the Clark County Fair Board for $10,000 to partially fund a new concession stand.

— approved the second reading of an ordinance to move the court’s second monthly meeting to 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month beginning March 28. The meetings will be in the fiscal courtroom.

— approved the second reading of an ordinance to remove certain county employees from the county compensation plan.

— approved an order to seek bids to codify and publish the county’s ordinances.

— approved hiring Lucas Yaste as a firefighter III.

— approved transferring Brooke Riggs from firefighter III to volunteer firefighter.

— approved transferring Tyler S. Tays from volunteer firefighter to firefighter III.

— appointed road supervisor Allan Curtis to the Clark County GIS committee.

— appointed Jason Neal, Rob S. Ratliff and Shane Jennings to the Clark County Ethics Commission.

— reappointed Dwain Gay to the Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation board.

— approved an order to pay the bond for the county surveyor.

— voted to affirm the decision by the Winchester-Clark County Planning Commission to deny a zoning change request for property at 6229 Lexington Road.

— voted-4-3 to follow the personnel committee recommendation not to terminate the employment of road department employee Aaron Rogers.