The Richmond Register

October 10, 2012

Grant to provide more comfortable homes to those who qualify

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison County veterans, elderly and/or handicapped residents will be eligible to apply for assistance to make their homes ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible through funding from the Kentucky Housing Corporation.

The Madison Fiscal Court voted Tuesday to allow Bryan Kirby of CEDA (Community and Economic Development Associates Inc.) to proceed in soliciting residents eligible for these renovations.

Although the funding is administered through the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the money generates from HUD (Housing and Urban Development), the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and unclaimed peri mutuel horse track tickets.

This is a form of betting is “a betting pool in which those who bet on competitors finishing in the first three places share the total amount bet minus a percentage for the management” according to www.merriam-webster.com.

“This is an unusual source of funding, but whatever works,” Kirby joked. “These funds are available for a variety of uses, but what I want to present to the court is the possibility of using these funds for the renovations of homes.”

The funding would allow CEDA to help renovate a maximum of about eight homes, Kirby said.

These homes will be located in Greens Crossing and Estonia States.

“Folks want to stay in their homes longer, but have some mobility issues,” Kirby said. “We want to open this up to the public. Tell us what you need and our staff will go in your home and do an inspection.”

Those eligible for these renovations must fall under a certain income level, however.

There is a certain scoring criteria to make sure CEDA “helps the worst first,” he said.

“The bad news is that there's only $200,000,” Kirby said. “We'll have to be fairly selective.”

Those interested in being considered should call CEDA at 624-3396 or visit the office at 201 Aqueduct Drive.

Receptionist hired for county treasurer's office

The court voted to hire a receptionist for Madison County Treasurer Glenna Baker, despite differing opinions voiced during the court's previous meeting.

Deanna Raymer now will serve as the receptionist with a salary of $24,000 a year, Baker said.

Madison Judge/Executive Kent Clark and Baker recommended Raymer be hired at the last court meeting, however the hire was voted down 3-2.

Only Clark and Magistrate Billy Ray Hughes voted in favor, with Magistrates Kenny Barger, Larry Combs and Greg King in opposition.

Barger and Combs felt like they were not informed nor included in the decision to agree to hire someone, and “Magistrate King was uncomfortable because she had checked on her application that she didn't want us to call her current employer,” Clark said.

There were 21 applicants for the position and Baker's staff narrowed that number down to five interviewees, he said.

“They chose the person they felt like would be best suited for that office,” Clark said.

All magistrates voted in favor, except Combs who was absent for Tuesday's meeting.

Barger apologized to Raymer Tuesday, stating that his initial reluctance was not because of her personally, but rather the way the decision was handled by the court.

The county treasure's office processes the health insurance payments for the clerk’s office, the sheriff’s department and the rural utility districts because it costs the county more to process them separately, Baker explained during the September meeting. Those offices and agencies reimburse the fiscal court for the service, she said.

In other business:

• Baker informed the court that the county's four-week-long state audit was complete and the exit interview conducted showed no unfavorable findings. An official report of the county's audit should be made available by the state in the next few months, she said.

• Jim Rowe of the North Madison Sanitation District (NMSD) gave the court an update about the entity which is not included among the county's taxing districts.

The NMSD has 1,620 customers, Rowe said.

“We have 100 homes that are empty,” he said. “Some of them are foreclosed. That's over $40,000 of income that we're losing.”

The district now is working to obtain grant funding for new sewer lines.

“We have 'priority one' (status) with BGADD (Blue Grass Area Development District) when grants become available,” he said.

The NMSD has $21,403,326 in assets, $7,840,000 in liabilities and the district's expenses as of June 1 were $1,124,931. The district's 2012 revenue was 1,091,000.

“We came out short,” he said. “We did have a rate increase in January, so that will take up the shortage (in funding).”

• Madison County Fire Chief Jim Cox reminded the court and audience that the Kentucky State Forestry Division issues a burn ban every year from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. Burning is prohibited within 150 feet of a forest area or a structure between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Cox said.

• The court officially adopted Madison County's Emergency Operations Plan, which is mandated by state law to be adopted by the end of the year.

“Over 90 agencies were involved in the development of this plan,” said Carl Richards, Madison County's emergency management agency director.

The plan establishes policies and strategies for preparedness planning as well as disaster response, recovery and mitigation. It also details agencies’ emergency assignments.

The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the Madison County Courthouse.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.