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Fiscal court considers request to assist tech center students

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Magistrates want accounting of previous money first

By Stephen Lega

This school year, Kenny Marrett has been serving as a liaison between the Marion County Jobs Consortium and the Marion County Area Technology Center. In that role, he visited the Marion County Fiscal Court on March 20 seeking some assistance.
Marrett said he would like to help students complete projects, such as a wooden lock and a small hot air engine, which would be more involved than what students have been making.
"We would like to introduce a craft fair at the end of the year," he said.
These kinds of projects involve math, physics and geometry, but they have other benefits as well, according to Marrett.
"We're trying to create a more employable student," he said.
In the short term, Marrett was seeking $12,000 to help upgrade equipment at the tech center, but he was also seeking additional funding to help enhance the tech center programs for the long-term as well.
The magistrates expressed support for what Marrett is trying to do, but they also expressed concerns about giving more money to the tech center. In recent years, the fiscal court gave $150,000 to the Marion County Board of Education for the tech center. The magistrates were concerned that they have not seen how that all of that money has been used. They said it’s possible some of it could still be available for Marrett's proposal.
As far as the $12,000, Magistrate John Arthur Elder III suggested that the county, the City of Lebanon and the Marion County Industrial Foundation each contribute $4,000. No decision was made on that suggestion during last week’s meeting.

In other business:
- Marion County Jailer Barry Brady presented a draft of the 2014-15 Marion County Detention Center budget to the fiscal court. Brady said the prisoner count at the jail has improved but he is not yet factored that into next year's budget. Those counts have been up and down, he told the court.
Brady is projecting the jail will have revenue and expenditures of $4.35 million during 2014-15. In the 2013-14, Brady budgeted $4.251 million in revenue and expenditures.
- The Marion County Soil Conservation District also submitted its proposed 2014-15 budget to the fiscal court. The proposed budget shows $458,571.60 in total receipts and $463,680.93 in expenditures. This proposal includes $50,000 from the fiscal court, although the district has asked the court to consider allowing the district to set its own tax rate.
- The court voted 5-0 to approve the first reading of an amendment to its alcohol licensing ordinance. The changes include revising the names of the licenses to match changes in state law.
- County Road Supervisor Tommy Lee said the county can put in an order for a new dump truck now without having to purchase it until the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. The truck would cost around $125,000, Lee said, adding that he can have a more exact price at the next fiscal court meeting.
- Marion County Judge John G. Mattingly reported that the Central Kentucky 911 Network will be meeting at noon Friday the Bluegrass Area Development District office.