Negotiations continue on City/County interlocal agreements
The agenda for Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting includes an action to rescind the version of the city-county interlocal agreements that council passed at its last meeting.
While no other action on those agreements are expected for this meeting, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck said the plan is to introduce a new version of those agreements to council members sometime in the near future.
Keck said of County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley, “The Judge and I both want to get these done sometime this month.”
Keck said he and Judge Kelley were finalizing the negotiations between the two governments and he would soon be ready to bring them back to the council.
“Some of the details might be different, but the general structure is going to be the same,” Keck said of the agreements.
Keck added that he was appreciative of the work done by both the City Council and the County Magistrates. “Both are advocating and fighting for their respective bodies, but we’re also aware that we’re at our best when working together,” he said.
He said that the city’s rescinding of the current agreements were “another step in the right direction” for both governments.
The three agreements are meant to replace current agreements between county and city governments that are set to expire this year.
The first is a for Occupational License Fee, the second is for Fire Protection Services and the third is Insurance Premium Tax.
Fiscal Court approved its version of the interlocal agreements back on May 11. City Council approved a different version on May 24.
The main difference between the two governments’ versions is that – at least for the Occupational License and the Fire Protection agreements – the county’s version stipulated that once signed, the agreements were to stay in place for 20 years unless both parties agreed to end it.
The city’s version stated it was for 20 years, but after five years one party or the other could withdraw as long as they gave 180-day notice.
Another difference between the two is within the Occupational Tax agreement. The city’s version stipulates that as long as the agreement is in effect, the county must participate in the Tax Increment Financing district enveloping the new Horse Soldier Bourbon development. That stipulation is not present in the county’s version.