By PJ Martin
On Tuesday, June 13th the Metcalfe County fiscal court met for their regular meeting with all the magistrates in attendance.
A request was heard to remove Ferguson Road from the country road maintenance list. The road is a cut thru between McCoy-Witty Road and Cedar Hill Road. The property owners Grayland and Lacey Lloyd and Ann Atwell were in attendance. Mr. Lloyd addressed the court explaining that the road being open is causing problems with several stop signs and items stolen from both properties.
The process needed to close the road was explained and all agreed to the process. The next step will be for the Road Dept. Supervisor Chris Compton to choose three disinterested people to look at the road and the situation. A public hearing will be scheduled after that.
A county road issue was brought to the attention of the court by Road Supervisor Compton who explained that several county roads were being blocked by locked gates, vehicles, and even a mobile home. He stated, “It’s gettin’ to be a bad problem.”
When asked how many roads were affected Compton replied, “About 8–9 roads. Three in the last week.”
Judge Wilson stated that he understood the Sheriff couldn’t do anything until the fiscal court comes up with an Ordinance. Attorney Sharon Howard commented, “I’m not sure we even need a resolution, because it’s against the law.”
All agreed there needs to be consequences if a county road is being blocked and the fines would need to start at least at $1,000 and possibly more. Passing an ordinance would allow the Sheriff’s office to help with the problem.
The discussion led to a unanimous approval for Howard to write an Ordinance stating that the first time the blockage occurs the person responsible receives a warning with 7 days to remove the blockage. If they don’t remove it, they get a fine of $1,000 plus any cost incurred by the county in correcting the issue.
Next, Judge/Executive Larry Wilson brought the magistrates up to date on the Barren/Metcalfe 911 Center funding issue. “This has been ongoing for a few years now, prior to my administration…911 Board has been saying for some time that Metcalfe has not been paying their part to operate the 911 system. When asked for documentation to that fact, I’ve had Sharon Howard (County Attorney) and Brian Pack (City Attorney) have both been on this and working on this and other individuals. It seems like the numbers don’t match.
What we give to the 911 Board is based upon landlines. Which when this was adopted and started worked really well…landlines are almost obsolete…this has caused the amount we’re contributing to get lower and lower.”
Magistrate Ronnie Miller, “Last year, we figured a shortfall of $14,000 and we wrote a check.”
“Sometimes, I think a lot of the problem is a personnel issue and I also think it’s an issue of they want Metcalfe County and Edmonton to close the center here,” stated Wilson.
The amount of shortage was calculated by City Clerk Dawn Devore from the invoices. “It was around 13,000 that we came up short,” explained Wilson adding, “I talked to Brian Pack and we have all agreed upon ourselves that the city and the county would split that figure and issue a check to them to make up for the difference in the shortfall. This by no means is a permanent fixture, but it will give us another year. We have got to come up with another way to raise or to have more money going to 911 and that’s a complicated decision.”
Magistrate Daniel Bragg commented, “They’re probably not going to be happy with this, but there ain’t nothing they can do about it. That’s the thing. We can do nothing. They can’t kick us out…you want to try to do the right thing… And they’re not gonna be satisfied until we shut the center down here. But if we shut the center down, there ain’t never a 911 coming back to Metcalfe County…it just don’t happen.”
After discussion, the magistrates voted to make the one-time payment of $6,800 to the 911 Dispatch Center.
The bids received for the Judicial Center Maintenance Contract and the Judicial Center and Government Center Janitorial Contract were opened at the last meeting.
The bid for the Judicial Center Maintenance Contract was awarded to Chris Reece HVAC for a yearly cost of $21,755 or $1,812.92 per month.
The bid for the Judicial Center and Government Center Janitorial Contract was awarded to Wisdom Cleaning Service for $4,350 a month. That is $1,550 for the Government Center and $2,800 for the Justice Center.
A Resolution was approved authorizing Judge Wilson to complete the sale of property and sign the deed for the sale of county property on West Stockton Street for $92,500.
The second reading of the FY 2023-2024 Budget was unanimously approved.
The May financial statement, claims, and inter-fund transfers were viewed and approved. The DES and Road Dept. reports were given to the magistrates for review.
The next regular meeting of the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court is scheduled for June 27th at 9 a.m.
It was noted that a town hall meeting is scheduled for June 27th at 6:30 p.m. at Leftwich Hall in Bowling Park to discuss the stage project plans. All interested citizens are asked to attend.