The Daviess County Fiscal Court will provide additional relief to bars and restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For certain retail drink licenses, the renewal fees will be credited back to the establishments.
“So if you are a restaurant with what’s called a NQ2 license – and that’s your only license – you will be billed $600 then given a credit for $600 for a total cost of $0,” explained David Smith, Director of Legislative Services.
“But we will still require you to come to the Clerk’s Office and get a 2022 license,” he added. “Even though we will be waiving fees, they still will need to show up in person and get their licenses.”
Smith estimates the County will forego around $12,300 in fees. Not all licenses will qualify for the credit, including those for retail package stores.
Licenses that qualify for the credit will be marked by the County when the bills are sent out in January.
“The Governor’s Office allowed a 12-month fee waiver for certain licenses,” said County Attorney Claud Porter. “Several other cities and counties have done the same thing. We have mirrored what others have done. We are going to waive it – credit for one year.”
Prior to the vote, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly thanked the Court for considering the fee credit.
“It doesn’t seem like a lot of money but as some folks have told us, every little bit helps,” he said. “All we are trying to do is help them keep the doors open. Because if they are open today, that means they have an opportunity to be open tomorrow. And we’ll just take it one day at a time.”
Previously, the Fiscal Court announced the Daviess County Bar and Restaurant Relief Fund. It’s designed to assist establishments that faced dine-in restrictions due to the pandemic.
The Fund will make one-time grant awards of $5,000 per restaurant, with a $10,000 maximum per business entity. The deadline to apply for the program is Monday, December 21.
To be eligible, the bar/restaurant must be located outside the corporate limits of the City of Owensboro and pay occupational taxes to Daviess County.
So far, 14 applications have been approved with four more pending. The Fiscal Court believes as many as 30 establishments are eligible for the relief assistance.
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Green River Area Covid-19 Response Fund
The Daviess County Fiscal Court has pledged another $150,000 to the Green River Area Covid-19 Response Fund, a donation that will be matched by the City of Owensboro.
Commissioner George Wathen serves on the committee for the Response Fund. He said over 60 non-profit organizations have received grants this year.
“They use those funds to help people who need assistance, providing meals, shelter and utilities,” Wathen said.
The Fiscal Court donated $150,000 in March to help start the fund, which grew to $785,000 with help from the City of Owensboro and other corporate partners.
“And I think that’s pretty amazing,” Wathen said. “It’s an indication of the kind of county that we live in where people are so generous.”
“I believe the best way we can help our citizens is through our non-profit organizations,” he added.
The account for the response fund is down to less than $1,000.
“Back then (when the fund was created), I think we were under the impression that COVID-19 was short-term and was going away pretty quickly,” said Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. “I think this next round – the money we are asking United Way to distribute – will really be needed in the first quarter of 2021.”
Coronavirus Relief Fund Reimbursement
Assistant Treasurer Jordan Johnson presented on the Coronavirus Relief Fund Reimbursement Project.
As part of the CARES Act, the Commonwealth of Kentucky received $300 million to distribute to local governments for expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state distributed $250 million during the first round of the relief project, of which Daviess County received $3.4 million.
“This is the second round to distribute the remaining $50 million,” Johnson explained.
Daviess County’s allocation was $1.17 million in the second round. The reimbursement funding will help to offset deputy jailer salaries and other pandemic-related expenses.
County Clerk’s Claim for Preparing 2020 Tax Bills
Assistant Treasurer Johnson said 46,896 tax bills were prepared by the County Clerk’s Office at 30 cents each for a total claim of $14,068.80, of which the Fiscal Court pays half.
Of the individual taxes collected in Daviess County, the Fiscal Court will receive around $9.4 million or roughly 11 percent of the total amount. Those funds are used primarily for roads, bridges and paid fire protection.
The Court approved an engineering agreement related to the historic truss bridge at Yellow Creek Park. Construction is scheduled to begin in February on the span, which dates to 1897. A contractor will replace the bridge deck, pressure wash and paint the iron truss structure along with an entry gate.
The Daviess County Gun Club generated a profit of $38,514.95 for the 2020 season. Assistant Treasurer Jordan Johnson said the County has recouped 30 percent of its initial investment in the facility. Also, the Gun Club raised $1,500 for Puzzle Pieces over the weekend of December 4-6.
In November, the Fiscal Court added Public Wi-Fi hotspots at seven volunteer fire stations. Already, the County has seen over 100 gigabytes of usage at those sites. The hotspots are available for students or adults who need to work remotely during the pandemic. In terms of usage, the top sites have been Pleasant Ridge/Masonville #2 and Yelvington.
Christmas at Panther Creek is open nightly from 6pm to 9pm through January 2nd. Your $5 admission fee (per vehicle) supports five Daviess County non-profit organizations. There are more than 50 displays and 700,000 lights along the 1.15 mile driving loop.
Personnel Moves/Committee Appointments
Enoch Nelson and Keith Lyons were approved as new mechanics for the County.
The Court reappointed Mark Brasher as County Engineer for a term of 1/8/2021 – 1/8/2025.
Commissioner Mike Koger has been reappointed to the Chamber Board for a term of 12/31/2020 – 12/31/2021.
David Smith was reappointed to the Mid-America Development Review Board for a term of 12/31/2020 – 12/31/2023.
Judy Dixon and Angela Hardaway were reappointed to the OMPC Board of Adjustment for a term of 12/31/2020 – 12/31/2024.
Jason Strode was appointed to the OMPC Board for a term of 12/17/2020 – 12/31/2023.
Dr. Patrick Marsch will join the Daviess County Animal Care & Control Board for a term of 12/17/2020 – 8/7/2021.
The Court appointed Lauren Osowicz to the GRADD Board for a term of 12/31/2020 – 12/31/2023.
The Court recognized Jacob Mulliken, Government Reporter for The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. Jacob was covering his final meeting for the newspaper.
“We want to recognize him for the service he has given to the Court, and the excellent reporting that he has done,” said Judge-Executive Al Mattingly.
The Fiscal Court presented Jacob with a gavel and made him an honorary member.
Commissioners also recognized employee anniversaries for the fourth quarter of 2020.
- Solid Waste Scale Operator – T.J. Johnston 20 years
- Assist. Fire Chief – Shaun Blandford 20 years
- Mech. Supervisor – Tim Jackson 15 years
- Animal Control Officer – Wayne McElvain 10 years
- Firefighter/EMT – Stephen Bell 10 years
- Service Tech. – William Nantz 5 years
- Service Tech. – Brandon Clark 5 years
- HEO – Danny Roberts 5 years