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Spending Your Tax Dollars: Shelby County Health District

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By Lisa King

What is Shelby County Health District’s area of control?

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The Shelby County Health District serves the entire county with a population of 43,614. The district is included in the North Central District Health Department, which serves Shelby, Trimble, Henry and Spencer counties. The Shelby County Health District serves patients that come that come into it’s the health department office in Shelbyville, and the North Central District Health Department takes funds collected in each county in its service area and spends those funds for preventative programs in those counties.

 

How was the district created?

Public health taxing districts in Kentucky were created by state law on Oct. 1, 1942, according to www.lrcky.gov. The Shelby County Health District was established in 1975. The Shelby County Health Department first was located at 419 Washington St. in Shelbyville but in 2005 was moved into a new, $1 million building at to 615 11th St.

 

What is its taxation rate?

  • The taxation rate is 3.75 cents per $100 of assessed value on real property, tangible property and motor vehicles, which generates nearly $1.2 million in annual revenue. The district has collected the following amounts in taxes over the past 5 years:
  • 2013: $1,195,711 total, with $955,978 coming from real property, $75,359 coming from tangible property, $110,761 from motor vehicles and $53,613 in delinquent taxes.
  • 2012: $1,188,711 total, with $953,978 from real property, $72,359 from tangible property, $109,761 from motor vehicles and $52,613 in delinquent taxes.
  • 2011: $1,145,094 total, with $914,151 in real taxes, $66,645 in tangible taxes, $105,528 in motor vehicle taxes and $58,770 in delinquent taxes.
  • 2010: $1,131,387 total, with $901,958 in real taxes, $74,493 in tangible taxes, $101,896 in motor vehicles and $53,040 in delinquent taxes.
  • 2009: $1,159,887 total, with $908,337 in real taxes, $76,204 in tangible taxes, $115,308 in motor vehicles and $60,038 in delinquent taxes.

 

How much has that rate changed in the past five years?

The tax rate has not changed since 2007-2008.

 

What is this year's annual operating budget and how much in cash reserves?

The health district's annual operating budget for 2013 is $1,195,711. The district has a carryover from the prior year of $753,084. The revenue is $1,195,711, and expenditures are $1,150,682. The revenue from taxes is the district’s only source of income.

 

What have been the biggest expenditures in the past 5 years?

The greatest expense is the 77 percent of income that state law decrees the district must contribute to the North Central Health District. Each county has a local board of health and a regional board of health, and the county has to give revenue to its regional board of health. Money contributed by Shelby County taxpayers to the North Central District is spent only in Shelby. The amount that went to the North Central Health District in 2013 is $925,388. The Shelby County Health District uses the amount remaining – $270,323 – for operating expenses to run its clinic at 615 11th St. The North Central Health Department uses its portion to fund programs targeted toward disease and illness prevention. The second largest expense – $117,000 – in the 2013 budget goes for operations, such as building maintenance, and utilities. The largest projects for the North Central Health District in Shelby County during the past 5 years are:

2013: $42,000 for a community project at Red Orchard Park.

2012: $50,888 for a walking track at Red Orchard.

2011: $40,000 for a Shelby County Park project (playground).

2010: $15,986 for a skin care project and school nurse.

2009: $57,729 for an electric generator.

Other expenditures include $107,191 for the building’s mortgage. Renee Blair, who is executive director of both the Shelby County Health Board and the North Central Health District, is paid $112,000 annually out of the health district’s budget.

 

How is the taxing district board appointed, including leadership positions?

All members, except the chair, which is the county-judge executive, are appointed by the Kentucky Commissioner of Public Health. Candidates are recommended by the board members in their counties. Blair is hired by the board of the North Central Health District and attends meetings to make reports but does not have voting power.

 

How many board members are there, what are their names, and when were they appointed?

State law specifies there must be 11 board members who serve 2-year terms. They also can be reappointed. The board must consist of individuals engaged in the following specific occupations: veterinarian, pediatrician, dentist, registered nurse, optometrist, medical doctor, pharmacist, engineer, fiscal court representative, consumer and the county judge-executive as chair. The latter's term is an exception to the rule; he or she serves until leaving office. The members are:

Rob Rothenburger, chair

Carlen Pippin, veterinarian

Lisa Lyon, pediatrician

Greg Hayse, pharmacist

Hubie Pollett, fiscal court representative

Darrin Violi, dentist

Todd Early, standing in for optometrist

Jenny King, consumer

Ryan Smith, medical doctor

Kathy Hager, registered nurse

Engineer, vacant. This position has been vacant for 8 months since the resignation of Al Andrews because he took a job in Jefferson County. Jennifer Herrell is the recommended replacement but has not yet been appointed.

 

Are board members compensated? If so how much, and how has that changed over the past 10 years?

Board members are not compensated, by state statute.

 

When and where does the board meet? Is it open to the public?

The board meets every other month, beginning in January, at the district board office, at 1020 Henry Clay St. at noon Wednesday. The meetings are open to the public.

 

Where are agendas for meetings posted and how much in advance of meetings?

The agendas are available at the door. They are also available at the North Central District Health Department at 1020 Henry Clay St. a week in advance, to anyone who wishes to pick one up.

 

Who reviews the budget?

It does not have to be approved. It's the same process as other special districts. The board reviews it and sends it to the fiscal court for acceptance. It is also reviewed by the state department of public health in Frankfort.

Compiled by Lisa King