By PJ Martin
The Metcalfe County fiscal court met in special session having moved the meeting to Wednesday evening.
Judge/Executive Larry Wilson referring to the 911 Dispatch problem, “What I would like to do in the next few meetings is bring in different options for the magistrates and anyone who wants to attend to hear. This matter still hasn’t been resolved and I would like to involve more people…to hear what’s going on.”
The guest speaker Mike Sunseri, Administrator of the KY 911 Service Center answered questions and explained the pros/cons of consolidating or not consolidating with the Barren/Glasgow 911 Dispatch.
He stated the biggest advantage would be not having to maintain equipment and office space for the dispatch center. There are upgrades to equipment that must be done regularly and those are costly.
The next advantage would be an “incentivized statute” that provides a consolidation grant of $200,000. That is to reimburse the actual cost of consolidating. Magistrate Daniel Bragg asked if Edmonton/Metcalfe qualified for that and that we were seen as having “no value” by the Barren/Glasgow center. Sunseri did not clearly answer at first, but finally answered that no they do not qualify.
He did explain that the systems are moving toward GIS Map Based allowing the pinpointing of mobile phone locations.
Judge Wilson inquired, “If the county decided that we wanted to just go on our own, can you give me a rough idea of what it would cost to just get started?”
Bragg then added, “And the timeline to get certified.”
Sunseri replied, “So if you want to become independently certified as Metcalfe County that would take you all having the equipment in your call center to be able to receive wireless calls…equipment wise…it’s a significant investment.”
Bragg tried to narrow his answer down to dollars asking if it would take 10 million, 1 million, 500 thousand. Sunseri said, “I think you would be looking at several 100’s of thousands of dollars…It’s an area that the board is not looking to actually certify more folks, because that waters down the pool of money for everyone else.”
The county would remain a tier 2 when it concerns competing for grant money. Bragg noted, “But we would have total control of what happened to those grant dollars. You know now we can consolidate with Barren County and unless the agreement is changed, it doesn’t matter. We have say 1 vote to their 5, so we don’t have any control over none of that money.”
Sheriff Lonnie Hodges asked, “I’ve heard several creative ways that other places have decided to try to make up for the lost landline funds. Do you know any examples of successful solutions to that problem?”
Sunseri replied, “What some counties have successfully done is to leverage fees on either property or utilities…some do property tax, some do parcels.”
Sheriff Hodges asked if a fee could be added to the vehicle taxes, noting that vehicles probably account for most of the 911 calls.
Sunseri answered with, “That’s something that would have to be looked at through legislation. That’s not in the current statutes that I’m aware of. Doesn’t allow that methodology.”
The second reading and adoption were approved for the Reapportionment Ordinance # 23-0714 reestablishing the boundary lines of the managerial districts. The vote was 3 – 1 with the no vote cast by Magistrate Ronnie Miller.
A Resolution adopting Firkins Cemetery Road into the county road maintenance program was approved.
Since it had already been voted on at the last meeting, Attorney Sharon Howard is to write an Ordinance concerning the enforcement of fines, etc. for blocking a county road. Howard noted that a law already exists concerning this and the penalty is a Class B misdemeanor. She read KRS 525.140 to the court.
An agreement was updated by the Barren County Detention Center for the housing of adult prisoners from Metcalfe County raising the price from $40 per prisoner per day to $45. In order to house prisoners, the court had no choice, but to agree to the new amount which went into effect August 1, 2023. Treasurer Page Edwards pointed out that the amount of $29,000 had just been paid to the jail for July.
The monthly financials, claims, and inter-fund transfers were approved.