County awards nonprofit grants

RACHEL KELLER COLLINS/The Tribune-Courier

Bill Fletcher (right) and Jerry Thompson, who are both Purple Heart recipients, stood to be recognized during last week's Marshall County Fiscal Court meeting as Judge-Executive Kevin Neal, who's also a Purple Heart recipient, read aloud the Purple Heart Day Proclamation. Fletcher retired from the U.S. Army after 24 years of service; he was wounded March 21, 1972. Thompson served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1969-1971; he was wounded Aug. 19, 1971.

During last week's fiscal court meeting, Marshall County Judge-Executive Kevin Neal revealed the list of local nonprofit organizations which were selected to receive county grant dollars. He noted the awarded dollars will be distributed only to the organizations which meet the requirements outlined in the grant application.

The awarded organizations and amounts are: $30,000 for Marcella's; $30,000 for Marshall County Senior Citizens; $20,000 for the Marshall County Exceptional Center; $10,000 for the Marshall County Veterans Support Group; $10,000 for the Marshall County Caring Needline; $7,500 for Hardin Senior Citizens; $5,000 for Marshall County Children's Art Center; $4,500 for HOPE Clinic; $3,000 for Ramp Ministries; $2,500 for WACPAC; $1,500 for Humane Society of Marshall County; $1,000 for Friends of Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge. The total awarded funds equals $125,000.

Commissioner Monti Collins said the total awarded amount won't be given to each organization in one lump sum so that if any of the organizations close between now and the end of the fiscal year, the remaining funds could be disbursed to another organization.

Commissioner Kevin Spraggs noted several people had shown interest in the senior citizens organization and helping it survive, saying he hoped people would step up because "the potential is there with the right people stepping in place to help."

In other business:

• The fiscal court approved a proclamation for county-wide observance of Purple Heart Day for Aug. 7 commemorating the 237th anniversary of the establishment of the Purple Heart by General George Washington and the 87th anniversary of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, as well as acknowledging "the blessing of freedom and democracy we enjoy today [as a] direct result of the courage and sacrifice" of those who've served the nation during wartime.

• The fiscal court approved a resolution recognizing the dispatchers of Marshall County E-911 as first responders who are part of the critical infrastructure of the public safety framework. The resolution acknowledges, among other things, that dispatchers "provide care and compassion to our citizens in their worst and most horrific moments, that many of these calls leave a traumatic effect on the 911 telecommunicators, that PTSD and vicarious trauma are real issues in the 911 profession and that this is substantiated by scholarly data." Neal said he intends to encourage other counties to do the same.

• The fiscal court members moved to accept a proposal from Avenu Insights & Analytics, subject to reaching acceptable contract terms. The company would provide taxpayer discovery, location and collection services with a strategic plan designed to maintain and enhance the county's occupational tax revenues and economic base by identifying unregistered and non-compliant businesses operating within the county. Marshall Count Treasurer Erica West told the fiscal court members the company representative she had spoken with said the company's fee is retaining 40% of what they find and they were willing to go back as far as five years or start now with moving forward.

• The fiscal court members accepted the sole bid submitted for the Houser Road bridge from Smith Contracting. The cost, which includes labor, material and equipment was $373,384.

• The fiscal court will hold a public hearing on Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. for the purpose of discussing a petition for the county to take in Commodore Lane. Regional Road Superintendent Wendy Greer said she and the other two road reviewers need to conduct an official inspection but believes the road will meet the requirements for being adopted. She said the people who live on the road have offered to pay up front for the paved resurface.

• Neal presented the fiscal court members with a draft of an animal control ordinance that he said he will submit to the three cities, Benton, Calvert City and Hardin, for their consideration regarding animal control services within city limits. The proposed agreement grants jurisdictional authority to enforce animal control laws within city limits and sets up a payment structure: near the end of each fiscal year (June 30), the county will determine the actual cost of operating the animal control department and then determine, based on data obtained from 911, the number of calls which warranted a response from each city. The compensation due from each respective city will then be determined by the proportional number of calls.

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