LANCASTER - Garrard Fiscal Court took two big steps Tuesday toward dealing with the county's financial troubles.
Magistrates, unanimously and with little discussion, gave final approval to a 6 percent insurance tax on virtually all policies except health. The levy is expected to raise about $425,000 annually. It takes effect July 1.
The court also put the sale of the county farm on Poorhouse Road on the fast track. Over the next two weeks, the county will advertise for bids from real estate professionals to handle the sale of the farm. On March 26, the bids will be opened in a special session of the court and, most likely, a contract awarded then.
The sale of the farm is expected to generate between $300,000 and $400,000.
Proceeds from the insurance tax and the farm sale are intended to help pay down the county's $4.5 million debt to the Kentucky Association of Counties, which made a loan in 2001 to help the county resuscitate Garrard County Memorial Hospital. It closed in August.