“Economic development and growth is down, so the additional revenue is lost. Growth of residences and business means taxes being paid on them,” he said.
Explaining his charges that growth has declined, he cited a number of statistics he compiled from various regulatory boards. “Prior to 1998, the Lake Barkley Water District opened between 300 and 350 new water meters per year. The Health Department issued between 300 and 350 new permits for septic systems per year. When I last checked, the numbers had declined to about 100 to 150 per year. If you do your math, that’s about 200 less, or a 60 percent drop-off. I can’t be certain that these are all new homes, but the assumption is that many of them are.”
Cruse, who holds the office of County Surveyor, is a veteran of the United States Army, and retired from the Kentucky State Police. After high school, Cruse graduated from a two-year course in surveying. As an Army surveyor, he worked in West Germany at nuclear missile launch sites. His law enforcement career saw him working in Trigg County from 1973-1994. In addition to being the current Trigg County Surveyor, he owns and operates Randle Cruse Land Surveying, after becoming a professional licensed land surveyor in 1994.
His current elected position as county surveyor is largely symbolic, according to Cruse, as he draws no salary, and has no specific duties per se. “It’s a Constitutionally-mandated office in Kentucky, but it is not used in Trigg County. Some communities have updated the duties of the surveyor, such as having the surveyor provide an independent survey should two parties have a dispute. If Trigg County ever needed official survey work, they could commission the county surveyor to perform it.”
He is a married father of three, and grandfather of three as well.
When asked what the cause was for the curtailing of growth, and how he would rectify the problem, he declined to speculate, but said, “The first thing I would do, if I am elected is to convince the Fiscal Court that the problem exists and is not an ‘Act of God.’ We should identify and focus on correcting the cause of the problem.”
“New construction adds to the tax base and allows the county to offset the increasing cost of doing business. I feel this should be our approach to income generation rather than raising taxes,” he said.
For the rest of this article, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.