Cooling replacement may fall to county

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By Jeff Moore

It could be a long, hot summer in the Wheeler Hall of Justice if something isn’t done about the air-cooling system there.

Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson told fiscal court Tuesday that he sought cost estimates for replacing the aging system and submitted it to the state Administrative Office of the Courts to proceed with approval to take bids on a new one.

Instead, he received a reply that AOC won’t fund the estimated $28,830.

“Unfortunately, the Judicial Branch budget is facing an almost $30 million deficit for FY 13 and FY 14; therefore, we do not have the funds to pay for the requested project,” AOC Budget Director Carole Henderson wrote in a letter to Tomlinson. “Please consider using the court facility fee for this project.”

Other counties across the state are getting similar responses to their requests from AOC. Tomlinson said he talked to a few who have received the same letter.

“This has kind of been the trend we’re seeing,” he said.

Henderson recommends the county use the more than $30,000 a year it receives in assessment of additional fees and costs on court cases to fund the purchase.

But Tomlinson said that money already goes to the regular maintenance and utilities that the county pays on the courthouse. He said they try to keep costs down through the use of inmates from the Carroll County Detention Center on maintenance projects, but that it does cost the county to paint, landscape, trim trees and keep the facility in good condition.

Tomlinson told fiscal court that there are three options. One would be to do nothing and have them get fans for the building. The second would be to go ahead and put it out for bids to get a price to consider for replacing the system. The third, he said, costs a third of total cost of replacement by only replacing the compressor in the unit.

“I would like to go ahead and make some kind of decision on it,” Tomlinson said.

But District 2 Magistrate Dean Miller said he would like to wait and think about it.

Fiscal court agreed to table this issue until after the first of the year.

Tomlinson said something will have to be done before warm weather arrives, because the courthouse needs to have an operational cooling system.

County to purchase state highway building

Carroll County Fiscal Court voted to purchase the Kentucky Department of Transportation building on Park Avenue in Carrollton.

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson has approval to spend up to $127,500 for the building and land. “It’s really a good buy,” he said. “I think it will be a good asset.”

The facility will become the county roads department once purchased. Tomlinson said that could take several months and the county could start using it as early as next spring.

County clerk returns excess fees

Carroll County Clerk Alice Marsh turned over $1,287.53 to fiscal court at its Tuesday meeting.

Under new rules outlined by the auditor, Marsh must maintain a 2011 account with $296 in it to cover seven checks that have not cleared on the clerk’s account.

District 1 Magistrate Mark Bates questioned the change.

Marsh said all of Kentucky’s clerks will have to keep the account for unclaimed funds open for three years. And they will be required to do this each year.

District 2 Magistrate Dean Miller said that this will end up costing the county money because, at the end of that period, it will be turned over to the state. In the past, it has remained with the county.

Fiscal court voted to accept the excess fees payment report.

Fiscal court moves December meeting

Carroll County Fiscal Court will hold only one meeting in December. It is set for 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14. This allows the court to then take part in the county Christmas party held that day.