Keith talks numbers at chamber meeting

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By John Whitlock

Owen County Judge-executive Carolyn Keith discussed the county’s fiscal picture with the members of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce at its regular meeting July 10.
With Keith leaving office in January 2015, this may have been the final time she spoke with chamber members as county judge-executive.
Keith said some members of the community may not be clear on the duties and responsibilities of different members of local government.
“People may have a personal relationship with us (in the county government) and call us directly when we may not be the people they need to talk to. I hope I can clear some of that up.”
Keith also discussed the financial dealings of the county and how taxpayer money is appropriated and spent.
For the current fiscal year, which runs through May 31, 2015, Keith said that in Owen County, there are six taxing districts with the school district generating about $3.3 million; the county getting $665,058; the library receiving $709,873; the health department gaining $302,196; the extension service gaining about $244,426; and the soil conservation department getting $77,137.
Keith said she supports State Auditor Adam Edelen’s attempts to bring more transparency and oversight to the taxing districts across Kentucky.
She also offered some insight into the county’s spending and broke down how the taxpayers’ money is spent.
Under the current Owen County budget, $1,199,463 is dedicated to general government; $927, 328 goes toward protection to persons and property; general health and sanitation receives about $142,163; $620,016 goes into providing social services; $104,700 is allocated to recreation and culture; $3,950 is directed to other county liabilities; $85,288 goes to general services; the contingent appropriations fund receives $56.541; and fringe benefits for county employees cost $490,820.
Keith said she has been working with the regional industrial authority in hopes of bringing new jobs to Owen and several surrounding counties.
“I hope that whoever takes over for me will continue that,” Keith said. “Owen County may not have all the infrastructure that businesses may want but more jobs in the area will also help Owen County.”