Fiscal court approves city annexation

·2 min read

May 3—The growth of the community is first and foremost among city and county leaders — a point that was proven by both entities recently.

Last Thursday's monthly meeting of the Laurel County Fiscal Court brought London Mayor Randall Weddle before magistrates to seek the county's approval of city annexation.

Laurel County Judge Executive David Westerfield explained that the city's plans to annex along U.S. 25 now requires a "resolution of concurrence' between the city and county. The city wants to annex along that route from current city limits ending at the entrance of Levi Jackson Park to the intersection of U.S. 25-South and U.S. 25-W (Cumberland Parkway), also known as "Malfunction Junction."

Magistrates also approved the new health insurance rates for the upcoming fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. Westerfield said the premiums would reflect an 8% increase from last year, although the original rates were higher.

"I've worked and worked with Humana to get the rates down and an 8% increase is the lowest we could get," Westerfield said.

New radio equipment for the 9-1-1 Center prompted a request to apply for a grant, which magistrates approved unanimously. The grant money is available through Homeland Security grant and will upgrade existing equipment necessary to provide quicker response to emergencies. The grant must come through the fiscal court, then be distributed to the 9-1-1 Center.

May marks the deadline for government agencies to approve their budgets for the new fiscal year and the Laurel County Fiscal Court has already drafted their tentative budget. During Thursday's meeting, magistrates approved the first reading of the 2023-2024 budget. Magistrates will then review those budgetary items for any revisions needed and approve any changes at the May meeting. Under state law, budgets must be submitted to state officials for approval so the budget can be in place by the new fiscal year beginning on July 1.

The Laurel County Fiscal Court meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in the meeting room on the 3rd floor, with the exception being in November for Thanksgiving Day holiday and possibly in September, depending on whether the World Chicken Festival is celebrated during that week. The fiscal court also meets the second Monday of each month at 9 a.m. for committee meetings.