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Planner position proposed but not in budget

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts would like to have more than a person in charge of the planning and zoning agency.

She would like to have a county planner.

In fact, she has a committee that has been studying the possibilities and applications have already been taken.

There is one problem - there is no such job in the budget and Bullitt Fiscal Court members aren’t quite ready to jump on board.

During a meeting of the county’s budget and personnel committee, magistrate Eddie Bleemel mentioned discussions on restructuring the code enforcement and planning and zoning offices.

While Roberts said she was in the process of hiring a planner; however, Bleemel said there is nothing in the budget to pay for that position.

However, there is money set aside for a planning and zoning administrator, a position that has been vacant since the death of Evelyn Fackler. Administrative assistant Roanne Hammond has been filling job duties but has not been any additional pay.

With the court’s decision to not increase the tax rate, Bleemel said he didn’t look for a lot of new hires in the coming year.

Roberts believes a planner is needed to serve the county instead of a person who is concentrating on zoning issues.

“I think it is absolutely critical,” Roberts said of the planner.

In the past, the county has attempted to hire a planner to the position but Bleemel said the budget wouldn’t allow it.

Roberts asked the magistrates to at least listen to the recommendations of committee.

Before anyone is hired or even considered, Bleemel said the setup of any reorganization should be determined.

Bleemel said he would make some calls to other counties to see how their offices are structured.

Roberts said it would be an excellent idea to combine the two departments that are already located together on the third floor of the annex building.

Another part of the committee discussion was funding.

Currently, Bullitt Fiscal Court is responsible for all the costs of the planning commission, including the pay for the city representatives.

Assistant county attorney Rob Flaherty said the planning commission could be set up as its own agency. It would be able to set and retain all fees charged and would be responsible for paying its own bills.

The committee made no decisions.