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MC Fiscal Court – Stave Mill, Drug Task Force main topics of discussion

Special to the Herald-News


At the regularly called meeting of the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court, the main topic of discussion was brought about by a presentation by Wes Jolly from the Edmonton-Metcalfe Industrial Development Board.

Jolly was on the agenda to approach the court about additional funding via TVA tax monies, needed to complete the fitting of the stave mill portion of the operation.

Jolly was on the agenda due to a unanimous vote by IDA members to request TVA funds to help pay for the cost overruns for the fit-up of the Spec Building.

“The TVA tax money goes to the state, and the state sends a portion of the money to counties. Bart Rowland was instrumental a few years back, in reimbursing some of the money to the TVA counties,” said Judge/Executive Harold Stilts.

Magistrate Ronnie Miller was the most boisterous in support of giving the funds to the project.

“This project is almost ready to go, I’d like to see them get it off the ground, because it’s about going… we’ve got this project almost ready for liftoff,” Miller said.

However, Stilts replied that they had “given Pennington Stave enough already”.

“We gave them $1.5 million building for $550,000. What more could they want?” said Stilts.

Stilts also added that he would like to see some of the money set aside for potential, future industrial projects in the county.

Miller questioned what those projects might be. “Well, have we got anything we’re looking at?” Miller asked.

Stilts indicated there was nothing specifically in the hopper, but that the monies could go to industrial projects without having to go to the Industrial Board.

Miller made the motion to give the money to the Stave Mill, but the motion died for lack of a second.

“I can’t see stopping 7/8 of the way home,” Miller said after the motion died when additional magistrates, Kevin Crain, Donnie Smith, and Kenny Scott said nothing.

If in the long term Pennington does not receive these monies, the Edmonton-Metcalfe Industrial Development Board will be responsible for adding the additional cost to the loan to be paid off by the operation over a 15-year expanse.

A portion of the agreement in place reads as follows:

The LESSEE understands and agrees that the LESSORS have the right to mortgage the premises as security for a loan or loans with a financial institution of their choosing, so long as the amount of the loan is not greater than the balance owed by Lessee on the Lease/Buyout loan of $550,000.00. In the event the LESSORS choose to mortgage the premises, the LESSEE shall cooperate fully in executing any and all documents necessary or required by the LESSORS’ financial institution to subordinate their interest to that of the mortgage, but the Lessor’s lender/mortgage holder must permit the Lessee to continue its business operations and the lender must sign and deliver to Lessee a Subordination and Non-Disturbance Agreement (“SNDA”).

Expected overruns: As referenced above, it is anticipated that there will be cost overruns over and $1,616,900 (the CDBG and ARC funding) incurred by IDA in order to “fit-up” the building to Lessee’s requirements. Those cost overruns over and above the $1,616,900 CDBG and ARC funding shall be added to the $550,000 and an updated amortization schedule will be provided which will include any building upgrade overrun cost which the LESSEE will be responsible for that were paid in advance by the Lessor. The LESSEE building/land monthly payment will increase if additional overrun cost is expended by LESSOR.

Mr. Pennington was contacted for a quote, but declined to comment at this time.

Barren River Drug Task Force

Ron Lafferty, the Director of the Barren River Drug Task Force was also there to make a presentation to the court, regarding the Metcalfe County Sheriff’s Office joining the task force.

“This will be like adding five or six new deputies that don’t cost you a penny,” Lafferty said. He also spoke of his extensive career, “well over 20 years” in law enforcement, and time with the task force.

“The task force was formed in 2003, and I’ve been there since 2004,” said Lafferty. “It has always been my goal to grow the task force and inform the public, get out there and educate the public about the calls and effects of drugs through school in civic organizations.”

He also emphasized that drugs do not know the boundaries of county lines and that there had been a dramatic increase in drugs in the area post-pandemic, thanks to new methods of transport for illicit substances.

The court was unanimously in favor of Metcalfe joining.

Other News

In other news, the magistrates approved the resolution in support of the National Heritage area designation of Kentucky Wild Lands.

Kim Smith and Philip Feese were appointed to the library board.

They approved for Judge Stilts to sign paperwork for the vehicle being leased from Don Franklin Ford, for the sheriff’s office, emergency management, and the jailer. They also approve the revised ABC regulatory fee form and approved the budget claims and inter-fund transfers.


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