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McCracken County Fiscal Court Approves New Budget, Less Funding For Nonprofits

Liam Niemeyer

  The McCracken County Fiscal Court on Monday approved a downsized budget totaling nearly $30 million for the upcoming fiscal year, to make up for a projected budget shortfall. The new budget includes less funding for nonprofits that rely on county money to operate.


When the fiscal year budget had its first reading in May, the county was projected to face an $890,000 deficit for the upcoming year because the county was spending too much money. County leaders say that budget hole, along with the prospect of rising pension obligation costs from the state, forced them to make tough cuts. 


“Our revenues are not keeping pace with the growth and demands of the state pension costs,” said Deputy Judge-Executive Steve Doolittle. “The county’s struggle to meet that obligation is what is really creating the problem.”


One expenditure cut was funding to nonprofits that use county grant money to help provide services. Nonprofits are slated to split a total $563,000, significantly less funding compared to last year, when the county provided $683,466 to 16 different agencies, associations and groups. 


Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, of McCracken County attended meetings asking for funds not to be cut. CASA is a program area within Child Watch that advocates for children in abuse and neglect cases in the county. Child Watch administrative manager Stephanie Steele said county funding is a “big part of our budget” that impacts the quality of services her group provides. 


County leaders said it’s not yet determined how much individual nonprofits, groups and associations will receive out of the $563,000 and say upcoming meetings will help decide the funding process.


“I’ll invite them to give a presentation and they’ll state their case and we’ll make a decision about it,” Judge-Executive Craig Clymer said. “It’s a part of the dirty work of being a part of the government to decide who gets the funds and who doesn’t.”


"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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