Fire department finances, jail updates headline Knox County fiscal court meeting
The Knox County Fiscal Court made a move in its September 25 meeting to bring accountability to the county’s fire departments when it comes to their financial reporting. “We, as a Court, want to establish a review committee to examine financial reports for participating fire departments,” said Judge-Executive Mike Mitchell. “The review committee will be compromised of the judge and two fiscal court members (Mike Mitchell, Ronnie Mills, and Darrel Baird).”
Each year, the Knox County Fiscal Court requires each local fire department to submit documentation of their financial reports. The court has now officially appointed a committee to supervise such financial documentation.
With the new detention center about a month away from opening, the court approved $613,000 in payment to Codell Construction for work that has already been completed.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re still running into problems in critical areas that’s being addressed right now… such as the smoke ventilation system,” said Mitchell. “The Department of Corrections is in the process of testing the systems to ensure its functional and then we will receive our Certificate of Occupancy. So now we are hoping for Friday, November 1 as the official opening date for the new jail.”
Doug Smith of Codell Construction confirmed, “We have the building complete as far as construction goes. The only thing we’re doing is conditioning the building. Once we get commissioned, we will do our final programming on the fire alarm system. Engineers will test every single piece of equipment in the building to ensure everything is running properly. The only reason we’re not occupied is the new smoke evacuation system. It’s completely automated and it takes the place of sprinklers systems in the cells. Rather than spraying water when a fire erupts, it [the smoke evacuation system] will turn on exhaust fans and heat pumps to provide air for them to breathe down low and it also sucks the smoke out of the building. We have over 230 automated dampers on this system. So, it will definitely take a while to get the system commissioned. As long as the Department of Corrections is happy with everything, we will be all set to occupy.”
In other county news, most, but not all occupational taxes have been paid. According to Wayne Willis, Knox County Treasurer, between 95%-97% have been compliant with their occupational taxes. The remaining percentage have not filed. Mitchell added, “We have exhausted all measures to inform the remaining few to pay their occupational taxes.” Knox County Attorney Gilbert Holland agreed. “I will file criminal or civil actions (on those) that have not paid and will result in means or personal property that they may have for any unpaid occupational taxes.”
The Fiscal Court set the date for the official Trick-or-Treating hours for Knox County from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. The city of Barbourville and Knox UNITE’s Fright Night trick-or-treating hours will be held on the same day and time.
The Knox County Courthouse will be closed on Friday, October 11 for the Daniel Boone Festival in Barbourville.
An expungement clinic will be held Thursday, October 3 at the Knox County Courthouse. “This is not for people with felonies, but for people with misdemeanors. It costs $40 for a background check but we will help you with paperwork and get you back into the job market,” said Mitchell. The clinic is sponsored by the Knox County Fiscal Court.