The Christian County Fiscal Court met Tuesday morning for a regular meeting to vote on the acceptance of a bid to create a mobile command post and officially approved the second reading of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 tax ordinance, which slightly decreases real property tax.
Christian County Deputy Emergency Management Director Cecilia Cloos attended the meeting to explain to the fiscal court that the mobile command post would be used in a variety of ways and by multiple departments within the county.
“This command post will be used for searches, weather events, major law enforcement activities, community events, such as Western Kentucky State Fair, Summer Salute, etc. and any other type of emergency we deem necessary,” Cloos said.
Cloos and Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble also explained that in acquiring a 38-foot travel trailer for the command post, the trailer had to be put out for a bid. The project had only received a single bid.
After receiving the lone bid, Emergency Management Director Randy Graham and his team conducted comparisons to determine if the price of the single bid was competitive and fair before moving forward in presenting the bid to the fiscal court.
“We’re requesting a bid over a 38-foot travel trailer and the bid came in for a Mastercraft at $38,490 — the only bid that was received,” Cloos said to the magistrates.
“After comparison pricing, Randy (Graham) and our team feels comfortable that the bid price is following the comparison and (Graham) is comfortable with it.”
Cloos and County Treasurer Walter Cummings added that as part of acquiring the command post, Emergency Management applied for a 50/50 matching grant from the state, meaning if the county provides half the amount of the total cost of the project, the state will provide the other half in grant funding.
Cummings shared with the magistrates that the state had already approved the county’s application for the 50/50 grant for the project.
However, before the command post project could move forward, the fiscal court would have to approve the single bid that the project received.
Ultimately, the magistrates voted to approve the acceptance of the bid unanimously.
The fiscal court also voted on the second reading of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 tax ordinance.
Tribble explained at the previous fiscal court meeting on Aug. 24 to the magistrates prior to the ordinance being read that the ordinance proposes a slight tax decrease, moving from 18.7 cents per $100 of real property value down to 18.6 cents per $100.
“I’m happy that on this particular one, I’m recommending that we do a real property tax rate of 18.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which actually is a reduction from our current rate of 18.7,” Tribble said previously. “So, one tenth of a penny down.”
Tribble added that the state’s tax rate will also be decreasing.
“I also like to point out that the state tax rate is going to decrease from 12.2 cents to 11.9 cents, that’s included in our tax bill — it’s not in this ordinance, but it would be on our tax bill from the county,” Tribble also previously said.
Under the ordinance the homestead exemption rate is increasing, allowing those who qualify to benefit from the uptick.
“The homestead exemption has increased a little bit from $39,300 to $40,500,” Tribble said at the last meeting. “So, this would result in a lower tax bill for some taxpayers.”
With the increase, Kentucky’s homestead exemption allows residents aged 65 and older to deduct $40,500 from the taxable value of their property.
Tribble noted no other changes from last fiscal year’s tax ordinance and no discussion was had prior to the vote.
At this week’s meeting, the magistrates did not have a discussion before moving right into voting.
Magistrates voted to approve the second reading of the ordinance unanimously. The ordinance will officially go into effect once it is published.
In other fiscal court news:
- The court voted on a Community Development Block Grant for COVID-19 utility assistance agreement, allowing the county to accept the grant funding the state has awarded following the county’s application back in February. The grant was applied for in order to receive funding to assist Christian County residents who were not able to afford utility payments due to employment loss because of the COVID pandemic. The county was awarded $200,000 for the utility assistance program. The magistrates voted unanimously to approve the agreement, allowing Tribble to sign the agreement and receive the grant funding.
- The fiscal court also approved a franchise renewal agreement with Charter Spectrum Communications. The court held a brief public hearing in July to receive input from county citizens regarding the possibility of the county renewing its contract with Spectrum for its cable television franchise agreement. No public input was given at that meeting and the magistrates voted to move forward with renewing the agreement Tuesday morning.
- Magistrates voted to accept an ad valorem tax incentive for Martinrea Hopkinsville, LLC for its expansion in Hopkinsville.