No new tax increases and the construction of its own animal clinic are just two of the aspects of the new Daviess County budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
Jim Hendrix, county treasurer, provided an overview of the proposed budget following a Fiscal Court work session Tuesday.
“There is nothing that we have to react to very strongly,” Hendrix said. “Our finances are certainly very good today and that allowed us to go into a budget year without having to look at any significant cuts.”
Hendrix said the county’s cash reserves are healthy, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not caused a significant drop in revenue for Daviess County.
“We have had certain revenues drop, such as jail expenses because of COIV-19, but we were able to manage through that and we are going to finish the year within projected ranges,” he said.
There are no projected new tax increases, but a previously approved tax increase that was postponed because of the pandemic is still scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
“There is a revenue reduction for insurance premium tax because of the 4% that we are collecting on the (Owensboro Convention Center) debt, we should only have to collect that one more year,” Hendrix said. “A year from now I will be filing to remove that 4% from the rate, dropping it from 8.9% back to 4.9%, the same rate it was before we did the convention center.”
Hendrix said one aspect of the budget that has garnered a lot of attention is the county building its own animal clinic and hiring Julie Gray as the county veterinarian.
“We put $370,000 in for the estimate for the new vet clinic. I can tell you that in looking at the plans as they develop, I will have a number of changes to present to you before the first reading to increase that either for size or for parking or for other things that are beginning to pop up,” he said.
Hendrix said he estimates an additional $100,000 will be needed for the project.
“I think after reviewing those plans and looking at things, we came up with what we think is a better solution,” Judge-Executive Al Mattingly, said during the meeting. “It is going to entail a little more cash, but in the end I think will be better for the entire operation.”
Hendrix said the county has also budgeted for what he considers to be normal capital expenditures, such as a $250,000 capital and maintenance fund for Daviess County Parks and Recreation.
“The infrastructure is so big and so fast that you never know what they are going to need, but we put a pot in there to take care of anything that breaks that we didn’t anticipate,” he said.
There are also improvements scheduled for the Daviess County Gun Club at 7740 Kentucky 2830 in Maceo. The club has been operated by the county since 2019.
“The gun club is doing very well, there is a lot of activity at the gun club,” Hendrix said.
There is $29,000 worth of wireless trap release machines and $3,500 for an archery target included in the budget for an effort to continue to branch out for area residents that enjoy archery.
“The results of the budget session today is we are going to put forth a new budget that pretty much maintains the kind of services that we provide,” Hendrix said. “We are not having to look at cutting. We are not having to issue any new debt.”
Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, email@example.com, 270-228-2837