By PJ Martin
The August meeting of the Edmonton City Council was held on Monday, August 7th with several members unable to attend. Those absent were council members Stacy Beard and Tommy England, Police Chief Delaney Wilson, ABC Administrator Fred Ray, and Attorney Brian Pack.
Council member and 911 board member Curt Estes was unable to attend the July meeting of the 911 Board on July 25th at the Emergency Communications Center in Barren County. City Clerk Dawn Devore was asked to attend in Estes’ absence; however, she possessed no vote in any of the actual board actions. The following quotes by Mrs. Devore are taken from her written summary of the meeting events which were presented to the Edmonton City Council.
According to Devore, the board discussed and asked if Metcalfe was going to pay their part of the CAD upgrade which is $27,428.60. The invoice was emailed to Devore by Barren County Director Beverly Harbison.
Devore replied to the board, “On behalf of the City of Edmonton, this expense was included in the budget, and the money being used from the reserve account was already designated for this expense for both counties.”
This was confirmed by Glasgow City Attorney Rich Alexander. The board then approved the purchase of the equipment and the installation. Max Marion City of Glasgow council member asked if Barren could upgrade without Metcalfe upgrading. Director Harbison replied that Barren was ready for the upgrade to take place, but if Metcalfe did not upgrade, it would probably slow down the interactions between the two systems. Metcalfe Judge/Executive Larry Wilson said that he would like to hold up on the upgrade for Metcalfe County.
Next, the board discussed stopping the monthly payment of $1,000 to the City of Edmonton for rent on the portion of the building that houses the 911 Center. The other part of the building houses the Edmonton Police Dept. Devore noted that the City of Edmonton pays all the expenses of water, sewer, gas, and electric. The bylaws of the Barren/Metcalfe 911 Board states that this expense be looked at annually, but support is not noted.
The 911 board voted unanimously to stop payment to the City of Edmonton. Devore stated again, “This was included in the budget that had already been approved.”
As to the efforts by Barren/Glasgow to push consolidation and closure of the Metcalfe/Edmonton 911 Center, it has been asked in previous meetings by several board members why Edmonton/Metcalfe is trying to save one person’s job. It was also commented by Mayor Henry Royse that Barren/Glasgow sends invoices to Metcalfe County stating what we as a county owe and they are nit-picked.
In response, Devore said, “I would like to say we aren’t trying to save any one person’s job, but 2 full-time positions and 9 part-time positions, not to mention the main concern of keeping and not consolidating is the safety of our residents and knowing the people on the other end of the line can give directions to find and get help to the ones calling in.”
In reference to the nit-picking comment made by Royse, Devore replied, “It is my job that I’ve been hired to do. To look at any invoices that come into the City of Edmonton and make sure the money spent is for expenses incurred. As of today, I still have questions about the five-year comparison that was sent and the audits for the same time frame that do not match.”
Devore added, “We have said it before, but maybe need to say it again, we are tied to Barren County. We don’t have a hospital and one of our doctor’s offices is an affiliate of TJ Samson. Over 60% of our residents travel outside of Metcalfe County to go to work, the majority of those residents work in Barren County and Glasgow which provides payroll tax for them. When you work outside the county, you tend to shop outside the county also, which means those businesses’ net profit is paid to the county/city where you shop.
While we are so thankful for the opportunities our residents have to be able to drive 20 – 30 minutes for jobs that we do not have here; hopefully, Barren County is thankful for the workforce Metcalfe County provides for their businesses. I think it is safe to say, if you were to visit any workplace in Glasgow (hospital, school, factories, stores, doctor’s office) you will see someone from Metcalfe County working and contributing to the income of the City of Glasgow and Barren County.”
One aspect that has been noted by several who regularly attend the 911 Board meetings and can also be heard on the recordings of the meetings is the fact that when anyone representing Metcalfe County tries to speak a member of the board will interrupt them and talk over them. This was very noticeable in this meeting in particular.
Resolution 2023-24-01 was approved allowing Mayor Doug Smith to apply for funds from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) which administers funds for the Law Enforcement Protection Program (LEPP) to replace police ballistic vests.
City Fire Chief Jerry Clemmons presented the July Fire Department report stating the dept. had 16 runs consisting of 2 alarms, 10 medical, 2 lift assists, and 2 fires.
The Edmonton Police Department report was provided in Chief Wilson’s absence. In the month of July, the department answered a total of 163 calls.