Simpson County winners in the Kentucky gubernatorial races in the May primary election were Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear and Republican Ryan Quarles.
Beshear received 414 votes. Peppy Martin received 27 votes and Geoffrey M. “Geoff” Young received 35.
Quarles received 405 votes. The other 11 Republican gubernatorial candidates and their number of votes were Daniel Cameron (344), Jacob Clark (3), David O. Cooper (7), Kelly Craft (168), Eric Deters (27), Bob DeVore (5), Mike Harmon (54), Alan Keck (17), Dennis Ray Ormerod (2), Johnny Ray Rice (1) and Robbie C. Smith (6).
Beshear and Cameron were the statewide winners and will face off in the Kentucky gubernatorial race in the November General Election.
The Simpson County results of the other Republican primaries for statewide offices included:
Secretary of State — Incumbent Michael Adams won with 499 votes followed by Stephen L. Knipper with 376 and Allen Maricle with 53.
Auditor of Public Accounts — Allison Ball won with 726 votes. Derek Petteys received 198.
State Treasurer — Andrew Cooperrider received 511 votes to defeat Mark H. Metcalf who received 319 and O.C. “OJ” Oleka who received 103.
Commissioner of Agriculture — Jonathan Shell received 559 votes to defeat Richard Heath who received 366.
In the only other Democratic primary race for statewide office on the ballot, Sierra J. Enlow won in Simpson County for Commissioner of Agriculture receiving 264 votes. Mikael Malone received 178.
There were no local races on the ballot.
A total of 1,529 voters went to the polls in Simpson County for the May primary. The number that went to the polls represents just over 10% of the 14,466 people registered to vote in Simpson County.
Simpson Fiscal Court approved first reading of the county’s Fiscal Year 2023 — 2024 budget ordinance on May 16; however, the vote for approval was not unanimous.
Voting yes for approval were Simpson County Judge Executive Mason Barnes and magistrates Marty Chandler and Scott Poston. Voting no were magistrates Jeffrey Burr and Myron Thurman.
Magistrates gave no reasons during the meeting for their votes.
The balanced Fiscal Year 23 — 24 budget estimates revenue and appropriations each at $22,577,932. The budget approved last year was $18,940,660 for both revenue and appropriations.
The largest difference in the two budgets is in the general fund, which has estimated revenue and appropriations at $12,614,306 for Fiscal Year 23-24. The general fund budget adopted for Fiscal Year 22-23 had revenue and appropriations at $9,189,188.
The estimated general fund revenue increase from Fiscal Year 22-23 to Fiscal Year 22-24 includes some $3.4 million in intergovernmental revenue.
The estimated general fund appropriations increase from Fiscal Year 22-23 to Fiscal Year 22-24 includes some $2 million in capital projects and some $1 million in general government spending.
The general fund accounts for 55.87% of the total budget.
All funds in the budget are balanced.
Estimated revenue and appropriations in the remaining funds in the budget and the percentage of the total budget the fund accounts for includes:
Road fund — $2,868,009 (12.70%); Jail fund — $4,198,029 (18.59%); Local Government Economic Assistance fund — $200,475 (0.89%); 911 fund — $311,480 (1.38%); County Clerk Permanent Storage Fees — $47,380 (0.21%); Opioid Settlement fund — $98,663 (0.44%); American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund — $2,239,590 (9.92%).
During a discussion on voting in favor or against a budget, if items are in the budget a public official does not agree with, Barnes said a yes vote can still be given saying, “There are a few things that I think need to be tweaked in here on the personnel side that I don’t necessarily agree with, but it’s workable…so we’re good.”
The Kentucky Department of Local Government reviews the proposed budget before fiscal court hears second reading of the budget ordinance. The budget ordinance must be approved on a second reading vote and be published for the budget to take effect.
The county’s 2023 — 2024 Fiscal Year begins July 1.
No one spoke during a public hearing held at the beginning of the meeting on the county’s use of County Road Aid (CRA) and Local Government Economic Assistance (LGEA) funds during Fiscal Year 2023 — 2024.
The county is expected to receive $890,288 in CRA funds generated by the state’s motor fuels tax and is expected to receive $200,475 in LGEA funds generated by state taxes levied on minerals mined in Simpson County, mostly crushed stone.
The county uses the CRA funds for the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of county roads. The LGEA funds are used for public transportation and asphalt on county roads.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3 engineers were at the meeting to discuss Simpson County’s Fiscal Year 23 — 24 state Rural Secondary Road program allotment.
Simpson County will have $595,691 available of which $371,500 will be used for routine maintenance and traffic on 95.575 miles of rural secondary roads. What is known as “Flex Funds” available for projects total $176,908. County judge expenses total $3,875 and $43,408 will be held over to the next fiscal year.
Fiscal court approved second and final reading of an ordinance amending the county budget adding $111,636 in revenue and spending to the budget’s general fund.
Simpson County Clerk Austin Johnson, Gary Dunning, Bobby “Chip” Phillips, and Dr. James Henry Snider were appointed as county reapportionment commissioners. The group will meet to discuss possible reapportionment of county magisterial districts. Any reapportionment has to be approved by fiscal court.
State law says magisterial districts for a county shall be reapportioned and laid out so that all districts are compact, contiguous, and the population of each is as nearly equal as reasonably possible.
Any changes in magisterial boundaries take effect on November 8 of this year, the day after the November General Election.
Reapportionment usually takes place the first May following a decennial U.S. Census.
It was scheduled to take place in May 2021, the first May after the 2020 U.S. Census, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
State lawmakers voted in 2022 to delay reapportionment until 2023 because of the potential consequences of reapportioning fiscal court districts during an election year, such as in 2022.
Fiscal court approved providing $13,000 for Eagle-View Technology Services. Eagle-View is a high-resolution ariel imaging that in addition to tax purposes can be used for subdivision development projects, stormwater mitigation, and tornado damage assessment.
Eagle-View is flown annually at a cost of $39,000. It is proposed that the cost be shared between the county, the Simpson County PVA Office, and the City of Franklin.
Simpson Fiscal Court approved first reading of an ordinance approving an interlocal agreement authorizing funding for the school resource officer program in the Simpson County School System on May 16.
The vote for approval was 3-2 in favor, with court members voting the same as they did on May 2 to approve the interlocal agreement.
Voting “yes” for approval were Simpson County Judge Executive Mason Barnes along with magistrates Marty Chandler and Scott Poston. Voting “no” were magistrates Jeffrey Burr and Myron Thurman.
The agreement says the county and City of Franklin will provide $100,000 annually to fund the school resource officer program with the school system funding the remainder of the approximately $400,000 annual cost of the program.
The Simpson County Sheriff’s Office provides five deputy sheriffs for the school resource officer program, which results in a resource officer at each school in the school system.
The 2022 — 2023 school year was the first time a school resource officer was at each school.
The school system uses the funds it receives, and what it also provides for the school resource officer program, to compensate the sheriff’s office for the costs of providing the resource officers.
No discussion was held concerning the vote on May 16. However; following the May 2 meeting Burr said constituents in his west magisterial district wanted him to vote no expressing to him the school system should fund the program. Thurman also voiced concerns about the county providing funding toward the program saying the school system could have funded the program.
Barnes said participation in the agreement must be approved by ordinance resulting in the first reading vote on May 16. Fiscal court’s May 2 approval of the agreement was not done by ordinance.
The ordinance must pass a second reading vote and be published to take effect.
A major road rehabilitation project by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on the portion of Highway 100 in Franklin known as West Cedar Street, between High Street and Highway 1008, begins with lane closures from May 30 through June 2.
That portion of West Cedar Street will be closed to through traffic beginning June 21; however, residents will have access to their driveways. A gravel wedge will be put in place to prevent a drop-off from the road to driveways during the work.
Only those living along that portion of West Cedar Street, which includes Grainger Village, will have access while the street is closed. Those residents are advised to drive slowly and use caution when traveling to or from their homes.
EMS and firefighters will have emergency access to the residences and garbage collection will be done as normal while the work is in progress. Also, no disruption is expected to water, sewer, or gas service.
The transportation cabinet says the road closure is necessary so a contractor can complete the stabilization of the roadway subgrade followed by resurfacing.
The work is expected to take 21 days to complete, depending on the weather.
A detour using Highways 1008 and 383, and U.S. 31- W will be used. Signs will be posted advising motorists of the detour.
The transportation cabinet says this project will provide a smoother road surface when completed.
Several people filled the upstairs meeting room at the Simpson County Courthouse for a Transportation Cabinet District 3 Office public meeting on the project on May 11.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3 Chief Engineer Joe Plunk and District 3 Engineer Branch Manager Justin Young described the project. Young also presented a slide show describing different aspects of the project.
Both men then answered questions from those in attendance.
Franklin City Manager Kenton Powell also addressed questions regarding water and sewer lines.
“You’re attendance here means you really care about your neighborhood. We appreciate that you are here asking good questions.” Plunk said. “We understand that this is a big impact to you.”
Scotty’s Contracting and Stone was awarded the $897,562 contract for the work on Dec. 8, 2022.
Updates on the project will be available on the KYTC District 3 Facebook page or on the KYTC District 3 Twitter page.
The District 3 office is in Bowling Green.