Fiscal Court approves funding for School Resource Officers at all Boyle campuses
Published 3:49 pm Monday, August 29, 2022
The fiscal court approved a revised agreement from Boyle County Schools to provide five school resource officers (SRO) for each of the five Boyle school campuses at their meeting on August 23.
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Kentucky recently passed a mandate that every school district in the state must have one SRO per school campus. Many counties have not been able to meet this mandate due to lack of funding. However, Boyle County made it a priority to make that happen.
“My goal has always been to have a school resource officer in every school,” Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins said. “My hopes were to be proactive instead of reactive; historically, first responders are always reactive. They’re always changing after something happens, and that’s not good enough in my opinion.”
The total cost of adding these officers is $250,000 for this year. Boyle Superintendent Mike Lafavers said the school will be providing about $145,000 per year, which is up from their usual $100,000 for three SROs.
Judge Executive Howard Hunt explained the court will be giving a $60,000 appropriation for the SROs each year going forward. However, for year one there is an additional requirement for the fielding of two police cruisers for remote campus locations. Buying those two police vehicles will add another $36,000 for year one, a total of $96,000 for the first year.
Hunt said that in year two, the court’s appropriation would go back down to $60,000 because they wouldn’t need to buy those two cruisers.
The Sheriff’s Department will also be helping with payroll costs, fuel, gear, and maintenance. Most of the SROs will be retired officers.
“Our parents, they communicate to us that they like seeing police officers there; they know that it makes their child safer,” Lafavers said.
The court heard a presentation on the newly passed Economic Development Partnership (EDP) bylaws that changes the organization into the Danville Boyle County Development Corporation (DBCDC). The court previously withdrew from the EDP, but is considering rejoining the DBCDC.
The organization’s board is decreasing from 17 members to nine, provided that the fiscal court rejoins. The court would be given two seats on the board, one for the judge executive, and one for a magistrate. If the court does not join as an initial partner, the board would automatically decrease to seven members.
Outgoing Board Chair Alan Turbyfill said they would love for the fiscal court to rejoin.
Several magistrates voiced support for the fiscal court to rejoin, explaining that the county and city need to start working together to help attract new businesses.
“You will never be successful with your mission as stated in the bylaws … if we don’t do it all together; I’m convinced of that in the years I’ve spent in economic development,” Magistrate John Caywood said.
Caywood also stated the need for concrete goals and measurements.
“If you’re going to do what’s in your bylaws, you’ve got to have a scoreboard, and that’s been one of the complaints by the court that there’s been no scoreboard, there’s been no results,” Caywood said.
Magistrate Jason Cullen was the most hesitant about rejoining, but said he believes the new organization would have to focus less on attracting industrial factories, and more on other types of companies that pay employees well.
“We continue to send our best and brightest out looking for other opportunities,” Cullen said. “If we do join, we really need to make sure there’s a focus-concentrated effort on getting out of this ‘industrial mentality’ and start looking for things that we can actually compete for here.”
Hunt said since Magistrate Tom Ellis has been the fiscal court’s representative on the EDP, he would prefer that Ellis be there to vote on rejoining. Ellis was not in attendance at the meeting. The court passed a motion to table the discussion until the next meeting when all court members would be present.
In other business:
• The city of Danville recently expressed its intent to issue Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) for a retail development on the Danville bypass. The city needs approval from the court to forego property tax on the property for a 30-year period. Hunt explained that there are other offsets in the agreement in addition to occupation tax that the county would gain.
The court would be foregoing about $6,500 a year for 30 years in property tax, but would be gaining occupational tax estimates of $308,000 a year for 30 years. The court approved the agreement.
• Brent Blevins from the Health Department requested the court approve a change to their tax rates. He explained the state recently passed a law that local health departments must use a compensating tax rate system like most other tax districts. Therefore, their new rate goes down from 3.7% to 3.6%. The court approved the rate.