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Council Members Disperse Funds From Dunn Memorial Hospital Sale
Updated May 5, 2013 1:10 AM
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(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Council disbursed the proceeds from the sale of Dunn Memorial Hospital Tuesday night.

The county so far has received $5 million dollars for the sale to St. Vincent Hospital.

Three council members formed a group to make recommendations on how the money should be spent.

On the committee are council members Mike Branham and Keith Dillman and President Jim Edwards.

The committee recommended $1 million be added to the county's existing rainy day fund, bringing the fund to more than $2,216,000.

The committee then recommended establishing four additional funds:

Courthouse security: Improved security procedures will be placed at both the courthouse and courthouse annex. The estimated cost to improve security at both buildings is $200,000. The committee recommended funding that amount.

Airport matching funds: The airport has a five-year plan for needed improvements, much of which would be paid by grants

But those grants require a matching amount of approximately $300,000. Of that, $125,000 will be raised through tax revenues and fees, leaving a shortfall of about $175,000. The committee recommended funding this project at $150,000.

Economic development: $2.3 million would be placed in a revolving economic development fund.

The committee also recommended that the tax abatement committee and the economic development committee be rolled into one committee to examine request and allocate monies from fund.

Courthouse renovation: Total cost for the entire project is estimated to be $2.4 million to $1.95 Million depending on which plans the county decide to take.

The commissioners are looking at replacing all 110 windows and replacing the air conditioning units, with a better heating and cooling system.

The committee recommended that $1 million be allotted to this project.

There is also approximately $800,000 in cumulative capital funds available for the commissioners to pay for the project, bringing the total to $1.8 million.

The committee says that is additional money is needed the commissioners could borrow the money from the economic development fund, with the county making payments to replace the money borrowed.

In a previous meeting $114,000 of the Dunn money was committed to the building of the new county morgue and another $91,000 to the cleaning of the exterior of the courthouse.

That would leave a balance of $182,275 on hand to fund any obligations the county might incur. Auditor Billie Tumey estimates of those obligations are a little over $72,000, which would leave an additional $110,000 that could be spent on the courthouse renovation project when all other accounts are settled.

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