The Adair County Fiscal Court met Monday night for the final time before the current fiscal year wraps up on June 30. With District 5 Magistrate Billy Coffey presiding in Judge-Executive Gale Cowan’s absence, magistrates made final changes to the current budget, approved a budget for the upcoming year, and made several policy and personnel decisions.
The new budget was unanimously approved following a motion from Daryl Flatt and a second from Chris Reeder.
“The Dept. of Local Government signed off [on it] June 8, so this is the final, second reading of it,” County Treasurer Melinda Quinn explained.
Several local taxing districts presented their upcoming budgets to the court, as is required, but magistrates do not vote on the matter.
The new budget is similar to the previous version, albeit with increased costs for some departments. Just more than $1.9 million is budgeted for the General Fund, almost $3 million for the Road Fund, just more than $2 million for the Jail Fund, and more than $3 million in Special Funds (American Rescue Plan Act money that can be used for improvements like removing the wings from the Historic Adair County Courthouse.
“It’s basically like it has been in the past,” District 2 Magistrate Daryl Flatt explained this week. “It’s extremely tight, but in my personal opinion, that’s the way it should be. That just means we’re not taking more of the taxpayers money than we need.”
Flatt, a member of the county’s Budget Committee, added that it’s somewhat unrealistic for the county to carry over many funds from year-to-year when most of the population doesn’t live that way either.
“It would be nice to have some set back for an emergency fund for a rainy day, but most families can’t live like that either,” he said. “Most families in the county don’t just have 10 or 15 thousand dollars laying around. I think we should live just like the residents live—watch every dime we spend.”
Closing out the current fiscal year
The court voted to increase the current budget receipts by almost $83,900. The change was unanimously approved without argument or discussion. The receipts were unbudgeted, mostly because the original figures were estimates. The update was required to balance the current budget before the fiscal year ends.
The court also approved fund-to-fund transfers in the following amounts: $25,000 from the General Fund to the Green River Animal Shelter; $100,000 from the General Fund to Jail Fund; and 25,000 from the LGEA Fund to Jail Fund.
“This is only as-needed,” County Treasurer Melinda Quinn explained, meaning the transfers will be available—up to the above-specified maximum amounts—if the need arises before the next court meeting on July 11.
Fee increases at 911 Center
The court voted to allow Adair 911 to increase fees for opens records, as well as for reflective address-number panels.
The cost for panels was increased from $15 to $20, discs of call recordings were increased from $2 to $5, and CAD printouts were increased from 25 cents to 50 cents per sheet of paper.
Sharon Burton, who publishes The Adair County Community Voice, said the move would discourage citizens from exercising their rights to these records, which are public by law. No magistrates argued with Burton’s point but no further action was taken.
Amendment to administrative code for 911
In other Adair 911-related business, the court gave second reading to—and voted to approve—a change in the 911 center’s administrative code policy relating to paid vacation time.
The new policy requires employees to work three years, as opposed on just one, before they earn two weeks annual paid vacation. 911 employees will earn one year of vacation time after one year of service.
The old system, which Flatt said created staffing challenges, gave two weeks to employees after they worked at the center for a year.
District 4 Magistrate Chris Reeder moved to approve the amendment and Caldwell seconded. It passed 7-0.
In other business Monday:
• The court voted to hire Cody Wayne Maggard as a full-time heavy equipment operator/driver for the Adair County Road Dept. Maggard’s starting pay will be $13.95 per hour.
Coffey said that Maggard already had is CDL.
“I know the young man,” District 3 Magistrate Sammy Baker said. “I think he’s a fine young man and he’s got a lot of abilities to do things. He’s enthusiastic and I think he’s trainable and that he’d be a good employee.”
The court unanimously approved the hire after Baker’s motion.
• Approved disbursements for invoices dated from June 21 through June 23 totaling just more than $25,000. Greg Caldwell made the motion, Terry Hadley offered the second, and the measure passed 7-0.
• Approved minutes from the June 13 court meeting.
All magistrates were present for the meeting.