City council discusses water rates
by Shon Wylie
The Carlisle City Council held a short, concise monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 10. Topping the list of concerns was water usage well exceeding normal standards and parking woes on Emmert Drive and Morgan Street. In addition, Carlisle Mayor Kevin Booth addressed the old business of personnel policy and then passed out to council members copies of a non-disclosure agreement which all employees of the City of Carlisle, council members, the city attorney and the mayor are required to sign.
City Water Plant ‘Getting Hammered’
Noting that recently the city water plant has been running full tilt and that it is costing more to operate the plant than the plant is bringing in, Mayor Booth called for contracts currently in place with Nicholas County Water and Sharpsburg to be reviewed in hopes of being able to increase charges when those entities exceed their contracted usage amounts.
Mayor Booth noted that the overages have been happening for about two months, and that “We are getting hammered. We’re taking a severe loss.”
According to a water rate study conducted GRW, the engineering firm contracted with the city, Carlisle is selling water for less than it costs to produce it. A GRW representative cautioned the city council that future grants might not be made available if the prices are not adjusted to make the utilities self-sufficient, referring to how the city currently offsets losses from water purification with income from natural gas.
Obamacare: Window closing soon
by Stephen Scalf
Health Department to assist with enrollment
One of the strings attached to the Affordable Healthcare Act – more commonly known as Obamacare – is what is known as the “individual mandate” which requires every person to have health care insurance or pay a penalty.
The last day to sign up for coverage for 2014 is Mar. 31. As of this edition’s publication date this leaves just 47 days remaining to sign up and avoid paying the penalty.
However, many Nicholas County residents may not have internet access or understand enough about their options to complete the applications. If you (or a friend) has not yet signed up for healthcare coverage, Wedco District Health Department is here to help.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Kynect Assisters will be at the Nicholas County Health Department, located at 2320 Concrete Road, to answer any questions and to help Nicholas Countians complete their applications.
In order to be able to complete your application, please bring the following documents: Identification; Immigration documentation (if applicable); W2 forms; Tax returns; Health insurance card.
Although walk-ins will be accepted throughout the day, appointments are also available and can be made by calling April Thomas at (859) 588-5343.
If you sign up for coverage during the event on Feb. 20, coverage will begin on Apr. 1, 2014. If you sign up after Mar. 15, 2014, coverage will begin on May 1, 2014.
Board of health: Why the tax increase and where it is going?
by Stephen Scalf
The Carlisle Courier recently printed two articles focusing on the procedures the Nicholas County Board of Health followed to increase its tax rate. As pointed out in the articles, the Kentucky Revised Statute contained contradictory statutes which led to differing legal opinions from multiple sources as to both the maximum tax rate and the approval procedures before the tax is levied. Final Resolution
The legal questions raised by The Courier were significant enough that the Department of Public Health’s combined research into the matter with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ general counsel took over a month before Wedco received clarification.
On Dec. 10, 2013 DPH’s legal advisor, David Spenard, provided the opinion to Wedco that the Nicholas County Board of Health’s tax increase was consistent with KRS 212.755; however, a letter issued on Dec. 11, 2013 instructed that the tax required a resolution by the fiscal court approving the increase before it could be levied.
Prior to January’s fiscal court meeting, Nicholas County Attorney Dawn Letcher held a conference call with Mr. Spenard and DPH’s interim director of the Division of Administration and Financial Management, Mike Tuggle. After Mrs. Letcher clarified Nicholas County’s status as a “ballot” county, all concurred that the tax increase did not require fiscal court approval.
“When boards of health were first formed, counties were given the option of creating a board of health by election,” Mrs. Letcher explained to the fiscal court. “Later, when the remaining counties had their boards of health created by statute, the General Assembly recognized the difference and granted much broader authority to the boards which had been established through the election process.”
She told the fiscal court that the DPH legal counsel had gone so far as to say, “The fiscal court could vote on the tax increase all day long and it wouldn’t change a thing.”
With those questions resolved, The Carlisle Courier now reports that the county board of health followed proper procedures, and that the tax increase is completely in accordance with the law.
The Carlisle Courier recently printed two articles focusing on the procedures the Nicholas County Board of Health followed to increase its tax rate. As pointed out in the articles, the Kentucky Revised Statute contained contradictory statutes which led to differing legal opinions from multiple sources as to both the maximum tax rate and the approval procedures before the tax is levied.
The Carlisle Courier
115 S. Locust St
(around the corner from Deposit Bank)
P.O. Box 206
Carlisle, KY 40311
Tel: 859-289-8899 Fax: 859-289-8890