Most Trimble County residents should expect an increase on insurance premiums because of a new county tax later this year.

Magistrates approved the second reading of an ordinance that will collect a 5 percent tax on any insurance policy covering casualty, automobile, inland marine, fire and allied perils. The Fiscal Court decided to drop the tax on health and life insurance during the second reading of the ordinance at a regular meeting on Monday.

Residents in Bedford who already pay the city's insurance tax on their premiums will not have to pay additional fees for the county's tax, magistrates noted during the first reading of the ordinance.

Magistrates hope the new tax on insurance policies will help the county make up a $500,000 deficit in the budget caused by a decrease in landfill usage. Officials do not have an exact figure as to how much this new tax will generate, Trimble County Judge-Executive Jerry Powell said during last month's meeting.

Magistrates unanimously approved the ordinance, which will go into effect on July 1.

Also during the meeting, magistrates discussed potential repairs needed to the Courthouse's heating and cooling system, as well as the county's EMS building.

Solid Waste Officer Bruce Pyles told magistrates the heating and cooling system no longer works as it should because of issues with the software program that runs the system. The company that installed the system went out of business about two years ago, Pyles said.

One board with the system has gone down, causing the heat to run at a constant 85 degrees. The county uses the air conditioning to keep rooms at a comfortable temperature, which has increased energy usage, he said.

Pyles noted the software system needed to be replaced to correct the issue.

"I've been told by two people (the heating and cooling system) has to run on the software system," he said.

The Fiscal Court plans to look into other companies with software similar to the Courthouse's current system before making a decision.

Powell also discussed cracks in the floor and walls of the Trimble County EMS station.

"Sharon (Law, director of the county's EMS) said they weren't there until we got the generator," Powell said.

Powell said the building also has other problems with water entering during rain and other severe weather, condensation in the light fixtures and mold growing on the side of the building.

"We need to work on that," he said.

Powell said the generator might be creating vibrations that have caused the damage to the floors and walls, even though the generator was placed on a concrete slab.

Magistrates agreed to look into the issue before deciding on a plan of action.

In other business:

• Marc Stuart, the new general manager of Valley View Landfill, attended the meeting to introduce himself to the Fiscal Court. Stuart hopes to have updates on the landfill for future meetings, he said.

• Trimble County resident Sonia McElroy, a consulting party for the Sierra Club, asked magistrates to support preservation of historical landmarks in Trimble County.

Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations are researching the possibility that the Wentworth Lime Cave on LG&E property in Trimble County was used as a holding location for the Underground Railroad.

"Even if it is (a landmark), it could still be destroyed," McElroy said.

Magistrates unanimously agreed to issue a letter showing their support of preserving the county's historic landmarks.

• Following an executive session, Powell told the audience county take-home vehicles will be limited to one vehicle for the road department and one vehicle for animal control.