Fiscal Court on Thursday approved a $107 million budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24. The County is cutting the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation’s allocation by 50% and is completely eliminating funding for the RiverPark Center.
In previous years, the County allocated $184,000 to GOEDC. Earlier this year, Judge-Executive Charlie Castlen indicated Fiscal Court was considering cutting GOEDC’s funding completely, but he still wanted to show support to the organization. So, in their first reading of the budget in April, Fiscal Court proposed dropping that to $40,000.
However, on Thursday they approved a $92,000 allocation. That was a compromise for Fiscal Court members, as Commissioner Chris Castlen previously stated he didn’t think the initial proposal was enough.
Another notable change in the annual budget was eliminating funding for the RiverPark Center. Fiscal Court had allocated $12,500 to the venue in years past. Fiscal Court members previously cited the lack of profit generated by the facility and the “divisiveness” that has been occurring through programming.
Those two items were only a small portion of the $107 million budget, which Fiscal Court is required by state law to approv by July 1.
” We are not about to vote on a single issue,” Charlie Castlen said before they voted. He later added, “None of us got everything we wanted. We all gave up something, but we got something.”
County Treasurer Jordan Johnson said the budget includes a 6.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), no adjustment to taxes or tax rates, and no additional debt will be issued.
The $107,407,475 budget is broken down by departments as follows:
- General Fund: $48,006,163
- Road Fund: $6,972,750
- Detention Center Fund: $11,760,937
- LGEA Fund: $135,500
- Bond Service Fund: $3,386,200
- Solid Waste: 24,826,925
- Economic Development Fund: $1,688,000
- American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Fund: $10,250,000
- County Clerk Permanent Storage Fees Fund: $381,000