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Magistrates’ pay will go up 38 percent in 2015

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This will be magistrates first raise since 2003

By Stephen Lega

During its May 1 meeting, a majority of the Marion County Fiscal Court voted in favor of increasing the magistrates pay by nearly 38 percent starting in January.
The court voted 3-1 to approve a resolution setting the compensation for the magistrates, the county coroner, the deputy coroner and the county attorney starting in January 2015.
Magistrate Roger "Cotton" Smothers voted against the resolution, and Magistrate John Arthur Elder was not present at last week's meeting.
According to the resolution, each magistrate will be paid $800 per month starting next year. That is an increase over the magistrate's current pay of $580.07 per month.
The magistrates have not received a pay raise since 2003. If the county had given the magistrates 3 percent raises each year since 2003, then they would be set to receive $802.95 per month next year, according to information provided by Marion County Judge/Executive John G. Mattingly.
The coroner will receive $625 per month, which is up from the $605.62 monthly he is being paid this year. The deputy coroners' pay will remain $250 per month.
The county attorney will be paid $3,600 per month, which is an increase of less than 1 percent over the county attorney's current pay of $3,575.47.
Per KRS 64.530, the court is also required to set the monthly compensation for these offices no later than the first Monday in May during the year the officers are elected.
The salaries for the county judge/executive, county clerk, circuit clerk, jailer, sheriff, and property valuation administrator are determined by the state.

Court received preliminary budget proposal
The magistrates received a draft of the proposed 2014-15 budget last week.
The total budget as proposed is nearly $15.65 million. The fiscal court must approve two readings of the budget and publish it before it becomes official.
Under the proposal:
- The general fund will be $6.65 million
- The road fund will be $3.26 million
- The detention center fund will be $4.35 million
- The local government economic assistance fund will be $100,100.
- The EMS fund will be $1.16 million
- The Rescue Squad (Slavin account) will be $19,700.
- The Marion County Public Properties account will be $9,370.
- The National Scenic Byway Program Fund will be $100,000.

In other business:
• State Rep. Terry Mills spoke with the court about a second entrance to Wal-mart from the Adam Hughes Memorial Highway.
Mills said he believes the second entrance would alleviate some of the traffic on Campbellsville Highway and make the area safer for drivers in that area. He said Wal-mart has approved $200,000 toward the second entrance, but the bid for the project was around $301,000.
Mills said he has spoken with state officials about reimbursing the county for the remaining $101,000 if the fiscal court agrees to cover the difference. Mills said he doesn't have anything legally binding from the state officials, but he feels confident that he has been promised that they will help.
Smothers asked if that would affect the road funding the county receives from the state. Mills replied he's been told that it will not affect that funding.
The court voted 4-0 to approve the funding for the difference.
• The court went into executive session for 22 minutes to discuss the acquisitions or sale of real property. This may be discussed in executive session if publicity is likely to affect the value of the property being discussed.
• The court approved $2,500 to be a presenting sponsor at the 2014 Marion County Relay for Life. The court has been a Relay for Life sponsor for several years.
• The court approved bids from Hornback Construction to replace bridges on Buffalo Road and Delmar Caldwell Road.
Hornback Construction bid $58,000 on the Buffalo Road bridge and $54,000. Scott and Murphy from Bowling Green submitted bids of more than $100,000 for each project.
• The court approved the second reading of its ordinance setting alcohol sales license fees.
• The court discussed a proposed concession stand/storage building at Johnston Field. The revised estimated cost is $125,000, but took no action at last week's meeting. If the county, the City of Lebanon and the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission split the cost, then each entity would pay nearly $42,000.
• The court approved an extension of its agreement to purchase the former Ken-Mar building in Lebanon until June 15. This purchase agreement was originally set for Jan. 1, but it was extended to March 1 and then again to May 1.
Judge Mattingly said he believes they will be ready to close on the building by May 15, but they requested a longer extension in hopes that they won't have to ask for another one.
The county previously approved an option to purchase the property for $620,000 so it can be converted into a new workshop for Marion County Industries. The workshop serves individuals with mental and physical disabilities, and the Marion County Association for the Handicapped has been working to find a new location for the workshop in recent years.
• The court agreed to release $30,000 to the City of Loretto for its community center. The county included that money in its budget a few years ago.
The court also agreed to release $15,000 for blacktop at the St. Joseph Community Center.
• The court agreed to allow Judge Mattingly to use $200 for the senior citizens Derby party, to allow Magistrate Larry Caldwell to up to $1,000 for gravel for the roads around Sportsman's Lake, to allow Magistrate Smothers to use $1,000 of his community project money to purchase equipment for the Raywick Fire Department for its fish fries, and to allow Magistrate Jackie Wicker to use $2,000 of his community project money for the Bradfordsville school committee, $565 for parking improvements and up to $1,000 for park improvements in Gravel Switch.