PRESTONSBURG — Court officials’ jubilance at paying off several contractors’ bills was short-lived, Friday, when the county was notified it also owed over a quarter of a million dollars to Highlands Regional Medical Center for previously unpaid medical expenses incurred by the jail.
During Friday’s special called meeting of the Floyd County Fiscal Court, the magistrates voted unanimously to pay a supplemental claims list that included most of the county’s unpaid contractors fees.
The supplemental claims list provided to the court included $243,787 in payments to contractors DRH Equipment, Jarrell Contracting, Bartley’s Rollback and Boyd’s Construction.
During discussion, Judge Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall said the list represented the remainder of the contractors to be paid.
“Is this everybody?” asked Magistrate Warren Jarrell.
Judge Marshall then asked Road Foreman Mike Jarrell for clarification, “Mike, is this all we have?”
“I think there will be bills from C&C construction,” said Jarrell. “I’ve asked for them several times. He’s been called, he’s just not turned an invoice in.”
Through the discussion, it was also noted that roughly $120,000 is owed to Drains Unlimited. Treasurer David Layne told the court that he had not transferred over enough money to cover the full amount owed Drains Unlimited, so after some more discussion, the court then amended it motion to include a payment of $90,000, bringing the total to $333,787 in payments to contractors.
Magistrate Hattie Owens again questioned the court asking if Drains Unlimited was indeed the last outstanding contractor fee owed by the court.
“If we know that we have these people out there, we can spend some money,” said Owens. “But we can’t spend while we think we owe people still.”
Questions were raised by Warren Jarrell about the timeliness with which the court receives invoices from contractors. “According to the law, (invoices) are supposed to be turned in within 30 days.”
Owens said she was going to stop worrying about the bills. “I’ll send them a thank-you note for their donation.”
Mike Jarrell cautioned the court that there is at least one other bill that has not been submitted to the court. “I don’t want you leaving thinking that’s the only bill, because it’s not,” said Jarrell. “C&C is the last I think.”
Any joy shared by the magistrates at the promise of moving to a more debt-free budget was short-lived, though, as a report was presented by County Attorney Keith Bartley, revealing that the court owes Highlands Regional Medical Center $288,000 in past-due medical expenses for the treatment of prisoners dating back as far as 2007.
Bartley said there is some debate as to which bills the county actually owes, but added that, “The HRMC representatives think we owe that money.”
The county is responsible for all medical treatment given to prisoners while they are in the custody of the Floyd County Detention Center. Bartley says that there is some debate as to when exactly the county takes possession of a prisoner.
During Friday’s meeting, the county also authorized payments for work done on the Harold Sewer Project, and three coal severance-funded disbursement requests for a walking trail in district 4, a Disabled American Veterans project, and a senior citizens center project.