The Scott County Fiscal Court approved funding agreements for several projects that could bring new revenue sources during its regular meeting Thursday.

The court approved a resolution to engage consulting firm Compass Municipal Services and law firm Stites and Harbison in partnership to assist in applying for federal ARPA funds. ARPA, the American Rescue Plan Act, is a federal bill that provides COVID-related financial assistance to state and local agencies. In exchange for 1.5% of funds received by Scott County from ARPA, Compass and Sites and Harbison will assist in identifying expenditures that are eligible for reimbursement and complete the necessary documentation required by ARPA. 

The fiscal court also approved a resolution to fund a $100,000 grant application to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA). The grant, if approved, could provide Scott County with up to $3 million towards the Scott County broadband expansion program. The estimated cost for the expansion project, which will bring highspeed internet to an estimated 5,351 unserved homes, is $3 million but as part of the project Spectrum will also be upgrading service to 18,000 existing customers in Scott County at their own cost. The total estimated cost is upwards of $21 million, the KIA grant could cover 100 percent of the county’s contribution to the project. The final agreement with Spectrum was approved by the fiscal court earlier this month.

Representatives from Compass Municipal also outlined scenarios for the court to consider to fund new EMS and sheriff’s stations. Sheriff Tony Hampton was present and spoke to the need for a larger sheriff’s station, especially during tax season when many residents chose to pay their taxes in person. 

Judge Executive Joe Covington also cited the need for a more accessible EMS station that could improve response times. 

“We have established some real needs that need to be considered,” said Covington.

According to representatives from Compass, the county could fund the projects through a combination of ARPA funds, cash reserves, and the sale of bonds. Covington said they have identified several potential sites for the new buildings and Lane’s Run Business Park, the county co-owns with the city remains an option. He stated that a general neighborhood has been identified that would result in the shortest response times for the EMS station but that it is too soon to discuss specific properties. The fiscal court ultimately approved a resolution to put out a request for qualifications for a new Sheriff’s Office and Clerk’s office satellite and EMS station.

“We are moving forward and making progress,” said Covington.

Other actions taken by the fiscal court include:

— Approval of the 2022 health plan for county employees. According to court magistrate David Livingston this represents the 5th consecutive year the county has been able to maintain the same health benefits for their employees without any increases to employee contributions.

— The formal adoption of PFC James Penny Way, a new road donated to the county by Toyota that connects the back of the Toyota property to Rogers Gap Road. PFC James Penny was the first casualty from Scott County in the Vietnam War. 

— Recognition of Sen. Damon Thayer with a 2021 County Advocate award presented by the Kentucky Association of Counties.

The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 12 at 9 a.m. in the Fiscal Court Chambers. The meeting can be seen via the Scott County Government YouTube channel.

 

Elizabeth Morey can be reached at emorey@news-graphic.com.

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