Fiscal Court hears presentation about BCTC endowment, Shepherds House, county receives more road funds

Published 1:15 am Saturday, April 22, 2023


The Fiscal Court heard a presentation from Bluegrass Community and Technical College about their plans to create a $1 million endowment for scholarships for Boyle County students.

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This endowment will help provide scholarships to low-income students in the area, including high school students, to get a jump start on their college careers.

BCTC offers dual credit programs for high school students to earn college credits. They also have affordable general education classes that can transfer credit to different universities. Credit hours at BCTC are a fraction of the cost of credits at four-year universities.

James Neyhouse with BCTC said students who take dual credit courses are more likely to continue their college education, and have a higher GPA. He also said that having this program actually in Boyle County will help keep graduates in the area to help the local workforce.

“If we start them here they’re more likely to stay and work here and stay within our workforce,” Neyhouse said. “We all know we have plenty of opportunities for them here within Boyle County.”

BCTC President Koffi Akakpo said this area has a shortage of people who work in technical jobs, like welders or electricians, and shortages of nurses and EMTs. They’re working to address this shortage with BCTC’s new advanced manufacturing center, and dual credit courses for nursing and EMT work.

Akakpo said BCTC has a goal to help low-income students, who may not necessarily be able to afford four-year universities, receive scholarships through their new endowment. This will allow them to get affordable training for jobs that pay well and are in demand.

BCTC recently launched a similar endowment in Scott County, where the Scott County government pledged $250,000, with a similar pledge from Georgetown and Toyota Manufacturing.

Akakpo requested that the Fiscal Court start off the endowment, and that he would love for them to make a pledge of the same amount that Scott County did.

Magistrates said they see the benefit to this program, and said they would discuss how much to contribute during this year’s budget process. Akakpo said the county can contribute in increments over multiple years.

Shepherds House

The court heard an update about Shepherds House. Program Coordinator Blake Hobson presented some numbers for the 2022 – 23 year.

Shepherds House served 160 clients in 2022, 90 of which were in the criminal justice system. Three graduates of Shepherds House completed their GED in 2022, and three graduates enrolled in higher education.

About 80% of graduates had employment by graduation, with the remaining 20% either on disability or have other life circumstances that prevent them from working.

They currently have 31 clients, 12 of which are employed full time and four are part-time. They’ve had three people graduate the six-month program since January.

Hobson said the new women’s house has been successful, and is always full with a waiting list.

“We’ve really started making this impact on this under-served population in Boyle County, which is females,” he explained. “We’ve really been able to fill some gaps that weren’t really filled before.”

The Intensive Outpatient Program has grown to be bigger than ever, and Shepherds House workers have made presentations about its success all over the country.

Shepherds House is having the annual Run For Recovery on Saturday, July 22. It is a 5K run and a 1 mile fun walk, is pet friendly, and is held at Keeneland.

Shepherds House will be making funding requests soon to both the county and Danville.

The county is receiving $738,530 as part of the annual County Road Aid funding from the KY Transportation Cabinet. Bottom said this is likely the highest amount that Boyle County has ever received. She said they had a list of roads they wanted to work on, and can add to the list now that they have more money than expected.

In other business, the court:

• Moved the May 9 Fiscal Court meeting to Thursday, May 11. The county clerk will be using the fiscal court room for early voting that week.

• Agreed to use ARPA funds to buy a roughly $200,000 tire wheel loader for Public Works. Bottom said buying this equipment will avoid costs of renting or contracting the same equipment.

• Passed the second reading of Ordinance 221.29.4 for budget amendments for the current fiscal year.

• Heard a funding request from Boyle County Helping Hands, which is a non-profit that helps people in the area with various needs related to housing, food, accessibility, and more. Bruce Nichols with Helping Hands said they have helped at least 6 to 8,000 people since their founding roughly 10 years ago.

He said they have helped build many ramps for buildings through the last year, mainly by donating materials. Nichols asked for $4,000 from the court this year. It will go through the county’s budgeting process.

• Agreed to reinstate health care coverage for alternative sentencing, or community service, program participants with Volunteer Insurance Services / QBE Insurance Corp. The premium is $386 and there are 25 participants.

• Presented proclamations for Earth Day, Arbor Day, and the Kentucky School for the Deaf’s 200th anniversary.

• Celebrated Animal Control Month by recognizing Animal Control Officers Jessica Joseph, Elias Delbridge and Christina Lombardo. In 2022, Boyle County Animal Control took in 285 animals at the shelter; 46 were puppies and 200 of these animals were strays.

• A new stage with a roof at Constitution Square Park is almost complete.