Har­din Fiscal Court unanimously adopted its 2019-20 fiscal year budget Tuesday afternoon with no discussion from magistrates.

Judge-Executive Harry Berry first presented his $42 million budget proposal during an April 23 Fiscal Court meeting. The budget includes $35 million for operations plus $7 million of state-funded BRAC–related infrastructure improvements.

The budget accounts for an annual 12 percent maximum increase in retirement payments levied by the Kentucky General Assembly. To help address the $330,000 increase in the county government’s pension payments, the budget estimates a $290,000 increase in revenue derived from a 4-percent increase to annual county property taxes to be voted on later this summer.

This budget also includes almost $1.4 million to support operations of the Hardin County sheriff — approximately one-third of the sheriff’s total budget.

Regarding jail operations, expenditures are projected at $8.8 million. To balance the jail’s budget, a $2.4 million transfer from the county’s gen­eral fund is required.

The solid waste budget is projected at $5.6 million. This includes operating the county’s landfill.

Furthermore, the budget includes $3 million allocated to the county road department — practically the same as the current year.

It also allocates $943,000 toward the Hardin County Pub­lic Li­brary. Hardin County Animal Care and Control is funded at nearly $800,000 for the year.

Other budgeted expenditures include $50,000 in support of local drug courts; $50,000 to help pay for the Rocket Docket program; $50,000 to keep the county Dead Animal Removal program operating and $95,000 in Litter Abatement Grant funding.

The budget also allots for a 1 percent cost-of-living pay increase to all Hardin County employees, except of those of Hardin Memorial Health, Hardin County Attorney, Hardin County Clerk and Hardin County Sheriff offices, whose compensations are fixed separately.

“I just wish we could do more,” Magistrate Fred Clem said.

Magistrates also watched a video Tuesday in recognition of the U.S. Army’s 244th birthday, which is Friday.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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