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Magesterial district lines could be redrawn

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By Jesse Osbourne

Magisterial district lines could look different to voters when the next election rolls around.
The 2010 census has shown that the most populated district in the county is 10 percent larger than the smallest, which calls for reapportionment to balance to the districts.
County clerk Glenn Black said that two districts, those of Hal Goode and Morris Sweazy, fall below the 10 percent margin.
A committee was appointed at Friday’s regular scheduled fiscal court meeting to reapportion the districts in the county.
Jackie Robinson, Jeanine Warren and Sarah Ball Johnson were named as members of the committee. The committee has 60 days from May 27 to come back to the court with changes.
After they present their changes, the court has 60 days to approve or redo the new district lines.
“This is a fairly major job,” county judge-executive John Settles said. “It will affect voting precincts, it will effect your constituents.”
The court also voted on compensation for the committee, which was set at $60 per meeting.
Other counties in Kentucky pay as much as $125 per meeting, while some pay nothing.
“These people agreed (to serve on the committee) not knowing what their compensation was going to be,” Settles said.
During the information gathering process of reapportionment, the Lincoln Trail Area Development District (LTADD) offered its services to help with the process, which can be very detailed.
The LTADD has information from the census and geographic information system (GIS) information that will help the committee make their decisions, according to Black.
Settles reminded the court that the LTADD would do the work for a fee of $1,000, which the court agreed to pay.
Settles said the services could potentially save the county money, allowing for less meetings by the reapportionment committee.
County attorney Hamilton Simms said it would  be difficult to balance the districts, regardless of who was working on the project. The court voted to accept the services of the LTADD in coming up with new district lines.

Budget passes
A second reading of the 2011-12 budget passed on Friday.
The grand total for the budget is $5,629,692.
Appropriations for the general fund were the highest on the list at $3,412,503. The road fund is budgeted $1,737,789, while the jail fund is budgeted $364,000. The L.G.E.A. fund is scheduled for $100,000, while the Communicare C.D.B.G. grant fund is budgeted $5,100.

Backhoe purchase
The court voted to purchase a used Caterpillar 420E backhoe after accepting bids and conducting a demonstration of different brands of equipment.
The county recently lost a backhoe to fire and had to replace it.
Magistrate Benjamin Settles said the used backhoe was $13,000 cheaper than a new one.
The court voted to pay $65,400 for the backhoe from Whayne Supply, with $35,533 of that coming from an insurance settlement on the destroyed backhoe.