The Marshall County Fiscal Court last week heard the first reading of its $20.5 million 2018-2019 budget, which begins July 1, 2018 and ends June 30, 2019.

  Per the summary analysis of appropriations presented to the commissioners during last week’s meeting, the general fund is set at approximately $9.6 million; the road fund at approximately $4.1 million; the jail fund at approximately $2.5 million; the E. 911 fund at $682,000; the occupational tax administrator fund at approximately $3.1 million; the ABC fund at $345,110; the building inspection fund at $271,500; for a total of $20,590,327.

  In years past, the entire Fiscal Court would convene and hold a series of budget workshop meetings during which each dept. head would come discuss their dept.’s needs for the budget year. This year, however, Judge-Executive Kevin Neal said a ‘budget committee’ held those meetings and during the next fiscal court meeting on May 15, the court members will set the date for a meeting during which the commissioners’ questions and concerns about the budget will be addressed.

In other business:

  *Neal said he had recently spoken with Jim Smith Contracting, who is managing the construction for the 5th Street widening project in Benton. He said a spokesperson with the group explained construction is taking place along the north side of the street first, starting at Walmart and then stretching down to the co-op. He said they will close one entrance at a time to strip the pavement, a process which is expected to take half a day or a day for each, before moving on to the next entrance. He said most businesses along 5th Street have more than one entrance so it shouldn’t be too problematic but motorists will need to be alert. Once they’ve made it all the way down the north side, he said, crews will work back up the south side doing the same process. He said Marshall County Emergency Management Agency will be in charge of keeping the first response agencies informed regarding which entrances/intersections are closed.

  *Neal read a note from Chad McCann with Rivercrest Engineering about the Marshall County Sanitation District expansion project in Draffenville. According to McCann, the project is a month behind schedule. He said they’re still working out easements on the school property and an upcoming meeting with the engineers representing the school, BFW and Marcum Engineering, will hopefully result in a resolve.

  *Marshall County ABC Administrator Scott Brown presented the quarterly report for Jan. 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018. He reported 43 establishments yielded $59,549.15, a total which was calculated minus the $5,841.69 in license fees credit. Six restaurants, 26 malt beverages, three private clubs and eight package stores generated the revenue. He said recently Brewers Liquors was sold and is reopening, Global Liquor bought M’s Cork and Bottle in Benton and is opening another Global Liquor in its spot and Chocolatta, which is near Kentucky Shores in Gilbertsville, will put the county back at 14 package stores.

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