Call to Order and Roll Call
Themeeting of the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee was held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at upon adjournment of the Senate and House Chambers, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Wilson Stone, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Guests: Mr. Roger Thomas, Mr. Bill McCloskey, Ms. Angela Blank, and Mr. Biff Baker.
The January 9, 2013, minutes were approved, without objection, by voice vote, upon a motion by Representative McKee and second by Senator Hornback.
Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy
Mr. Roger Thomas, Executive Director, and Mr. Bill McCloskey, Director of Financial Services, Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP), testified about project funding decisions made by the Agricultural Development Board (ABD) during its January and February meetings.
GOAP officials summarized funding allocations for the previous month under the County Agricultural Improvement (CAIP), Deceased Farm Animal Disposal Assistance, the On-Farm Energy, and Shared-Use Equipment programs. Following the overall review, the agency officials explained some of the services offered and equipment acquired under the programs particularly the On-Farm Energy Program allocations, which totaled $105,508 for the funding period. GOAP officials explained the Clinton County deceased farm animal disposal program. Representative McKee said the program in Harrison County has been a success.
GOAP staff provided details on the statewide and regional projects, which included: Logan County Agricultural Extension Foundation, $72,441 in county agricultural development funds for improvements to an existing multipurpose agriculture facility; Ballard County Board of Education, $29,917 in county funds to build a greenhouse at the Ballard County high school; Butler County Stockmanís Association, $2,000 in county funds for improvements to a livestock system at the local agricultural exposition center; city of Morgantown, $6,750 in county funds to enhance the local agricultural exposition center; Metcalfe County 4-H Council, $2,361 in county funds for a country ham curing project.
GOAP staff provided details on the rationale for denying funding to the Crystal Bridge Fish Farm in Oldham County, and the Muhlenberg County Conservation District. A misunderstanding by one applicant resulted in a denial; another denial resulted from a low priority for the project given at the county council level. Responding to Co-chair Stone, Mr. McCloskey indicated that materials sent to applicants contain guidelines and rules on applying. Those denied funding received a letter explaining the reason the projects were turned down. Responding to Representative Mills, he said the applicants that were denied funding can re-apply if the project is new. The specific circumstances surrounding the Crystal Bridge denial were described.
Responding to Representative Denham, Mr. McCloskey said the Logan County complex has expanded to include livestock show areas, classrooms, and meeting facilities. Mr. Thomas said county agricultural development funds have been used to a large extent to improve the complex. Representative Denham mentioned a successful meat microprocessor in Lewis County that has received agricultural development funds.
Referring to the Ballard County greenhouse project, GOAP officials said a listing would be provided of all greenhouse projects funded in the state in recent years.
GOAP officials responded to Senator Parrett that a Hart County exposition center had been built using a combination of county agricultural development funds and Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation loans.
Documents distributed during the committee meeting are available with meeting materials in the LRC Library. The meeting ended at approximately 6:30 p.m.