Wilder wants decision on Boyle's finances

December 29, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

The time has come for Boyle Fiscal Court to make decisions about the county's bleak financial future, Judge-Executive Tony Wilder told magistrates at their meeting Tuesday.

Newly-appointed Magistrate Rick McQuerry passed out a memo with his suggestions and observations based on his own preliminary review of the budget.

If the county budget isn't cut, and the county doesn't increase taxes or find more money, it will soon create cash flow problems, Wilder said, "As sure as snow is going to fly this winter."

The county will end the year with $564,000 in the bank. That balance is nearly $100,000 less than what Wilder expected, and includes $617,000 in property taxes that the sheriff's department collected this year.


"We'll play it month-to-month," Wilder said, and then added that he thinks magistrates need to make some decisions soon.

He has suggested a payroll tax increase.

Magistrates Phil Sammons and John Hudson have said they oppose the increase without cuts. McQuerry has said he isn't sure that the increase is necessary.

McQuerry has some suggestions

McQuerry is still reviewing county finances, but told magistrates he already has some suggestions. He asked that the Emergency Medical Services find more ways to make money. The EMS staff said they could charge other counties to train their staffs, and could let the Boyle staff earn overtime to make more ambulance runs to Lexington. Now, some Lexington runs, which are more profitable, are given to other counties because the county asked EMS to limit its overtime.

McQuerry said that the jail shouldn't accept any more Class D inmates until the county figures out how much they cost. There has never been an in-depth analysis about whether accepting the inmates is profitable.

He also pointed out that between 2002 and 2004, county payroll grew by $722,000, about the same amount of the county's expected shortfall.

Wilder explained that the magistrates agreed to give jail employees a raise of 50-cents-an-hour. Then they raised the salaries of the EMS staff because Boyle was paying its staff less than surrounding counties and was losing emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

At the end of the meeting, Wilder suggested that McQuerry make the motion to pay the bills and adjourn because former Magistrate Martin G. Curtis always did it.

McQuerry laughed and declined, saying that he didn't like to spend money.

Magistrate Donnie Coffman made the motion instead.

Central Kentucky News Articles