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Breathitt County Courthouse closed due to budget not passing, set to open July 8

Breathitt County Courthouse closed due to budget not passing, set to open July 8
Breathitt County Courthouse closed due to budget not passing, set to open July 8(WYMT)
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Breathitt County Judge-Executive Jeff Noble told WYMT he received a call Wednesday evening saying he needed to close the county courthouse.

”It’s out of my control. My job is to present a budget and I done that,” said Judge-Executive Noble. “Last year we just barely had just a couple days before our deadline, got our budget passed last year.”

Noble said he had to close the courthouse because the fiscal court did not pass the fiscal year budget. This means the budget did not pass its second reading due to health issues and other concerns with magistrates.

We didn’t have a quorum, so we couldn’t have a meeting on the 22nd,” he said.

“The 22nd we would have been right on time,” he added. “Actually today would have been the second reading of the budget, and we could have kept operating.”

District 1 Magistrate Donnie Bush said the court tabled the second reading because Noble did not present the court with the budget by May 1. A statute says the County Judge-Executive must present the budget by the first. Bush said the court received it on May 25.

”Myself and the magistrates hadn’t received the full internals of the budget,” said Bush. “We felt like we needed a few more days, or a couple days or whatever we needed to go over the internals.”

The second reading needed to be submitted to the Department for Local Governments by June 30. The second reading is planned to be passed on July 8. Noble added the budget was ready in early May.

“We had a balance budget done the first of May, and it got tabled in a meeting on May 25th,” he said.

Offices inside the courthouse that are paid through by the Breathitt County Fiscal Court are closed until the budget passes on July 8. The Breathitt County Sheriff’s Department remains operating as it provides emergency services.

“I apologize to the public, I mean I’m here to serve them do the best I can,” added Noble.

WYMT is also meeting with Breathitt County magistrates for comment. You can watch this story on Mountain News First at Four and Mountain News at 6:00.

This story will be updated.

Below is a statement from Breathitt County Clerk Becky Curtis:

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