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Shelby County Fiscal Court: Budget set at $18.1 million

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Pickens outlines plans for parks

By Lisa King

The Shelby County Fiscal Court approved the second reading Tuesday of what County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger called, “a balanced budget” of $18.1 million.

The budget contained no surprises, with the few changes that were made since the first reading already having been discussed. Those include a 2 percent raise for county employees, up slightly from the 1.76 percent increase Rothenburger had suggested, and a $50,000 transfer from the EMS fund, which will mean one less new ambulance in the fleet. Deputy EMS Director Jeff Ivers said he could work with that.

Shelby EMS Director Todd Early said his department would deal with the situation, and he did not think it would be a problem.

The budget also has provisions for some much-needed road repair, which includes adding $120,000 in state Municipal Road Aid tothe county road fund, increasing that fund from $500,000 to $670,000, which will be used for blacktop.

Pollett said that even though no particular roads have been designated for repair yet, he expects that some will be, and the finance committee wanted to have the money available if that turns out to be the case.

The changes came after a workshop magistrates held in May, with the focus being on providing a better salary on county employees, who have had only one raise (1.5 percent in 2012-13) in four years.

 

Parks update

Newly hired Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Pickens gave magistrates an overview of what projects under way at Shelby County Parks, including a snapshot for each of the county’s four parks.

 “We are moving full swing with summer camps and a lot of activities for kids, and they are learning a lot and having a ton of fun,” he said. “We are right on track with summer activities and are very pleased with that.”

Pickens said the golf course at Clear Creek Park will be getting two more golf carts, up to 12 from 10, and Red Orchard Park is booked nearly every weekend with some type of activity and features movies. He said the dog park located there is getting two new shade shelters.

“Also, we’re looking at doing something in the future at Finchville Park, maybe just a day to recognize the importance of the park in our community,” he said.

Pickens said he has plans for Stratton Bottom, a parcel located off Washington Street at 2nd Street. He suggested a new soccer field and other minor improvements.

“We just want to spruce it up a bit, maybe some fresh paint here and there,” he said.

The 4th of July activities at Clear Creek Park also promise to be better than ever, Pickens said, with water slides and bounce houses for the kids and live entertainment.

The Swamp Tromp will be back in September, and plans are under way to improve trails at the county’s 400-plus-acre equestrian park, Shelby Trails.

“We are doing a wildlife assessment right now, with the objective of protecting wildlife and vegetation, including tree lines and native grasses,” Pickens said.

A mapping of trails also is being planned, both to help in the wildlife assessment and to ensure the safety of trail riders.

 

Also at the meeting, magistrates:

§       Approved a bid of 10 cents per foot from Central Seal for road striping.

§       Approved the first reading of an ordinance relating to the county’s administrative code.

§       Approval salary and utility expenses for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

§       Approved giving the A&M Association $500 to operate the fair.

§       Approved the annual renewal of a maintenance agreement for EMS radios.

§       Authorized Ivers to solicit bids for a new ambulance.

§       Authorized Rothenburger to arrange for the Health Department to give hepatitis vaccinations to county employees.

§       Approved reappointments for fire district personnel, including Bryan Franklin (Bagdad), Larry Siers (Long Run), Burch Kingsolving (Shelby County), David Meredith and John Bradshaw (Waddy), Bryan Romine (U.S. 60 East) and Robert Puttoff (Simpsonville).