By PJ Martin
The Metcalfe County fiscal court met on Tuesday, August 22nd with all in attendance except Magistrate Kevin Crain.
Summer Shade businessman Ron Underwood, “I appeal to the court to kinda do something about the speeding through Summer Shade. There’s 5,000 vehicles a day…about six weeks ago remember we had somebody hit. Ended up calling the sheriff’s department out to see if they could find the car that almost hit em…I just ask the court, see if you can talk to the state about doing something in Summer Shade to help slow traffic down.”
Judge/Executive Larry Wilson replied that the court would ask the state for assistance, but beyond that, there isn’t much the county can do since it is a state road.
Underwood reminded the court that a board will need to be set up to govern the use of the stage. The idea is to have 2 people from the county, 2 from the city, 2 from the chamber, and 1 from the school. It needs to be done to help with funding strategies and no one with political ties. It was discussed and agreed upon that the stage committee get a rough draft of bylaws, the members chosen, and they could fine-tune them.
Next, Lisa Boswell presented the court with copies of the steering committee plans. “The importance of the steering committee is, well, it really comes down to dollars for the county. If the county does not have an adopted plan, you lose out on a lot of money. You don’t qualify for it.”
Boswell asked that the magistrates read through it and adopt it, noting that there are items in the plan that the county should be responsible for. “We’ve got a disconnect here between the committee and fiscal court…take em home, read through em, and we’ll get on the same page and move forward.”
The court has two weeks to study the plans and make a decision at the September 12th meeting.
The first reading of Ordinance #23-0822 was approved. The ordinance prohibits the obstruction of county roads and public ways with a fine of up to $250 or up to 90 days in jail and is a Class B Misdemeanor.
Disaster Relief Work
Emergency Management Director Emory Kidd presented the court with a list of work on past disaster #4540 (flooding in 2019), the last disaster before the wind storms in March of this year. The state FEMA representative contacted Kidd requesting documents on work order #375 a large project included on the list. Kidd requested to withdraw the project due to incompletion; however, the representative called back granted the county until April of 2024 to complete the items on work order #4540’s list to FEMA specifications totaling $526,606.66.
“If we don’t do this, then where we was gonna get $10,000 back we’re gonna be writing about a $218,000 check back to the state. And the work has gotta be done before we can get it on our other disaster anyway. My recommendation is to complete all of this by April. Do the paperwork, everything gets done, and then the next disaster if something is re-damaged we’ve got documentation showing it was done,” explained Kidd.
He also explained that three items on the list were completed, but not to the specifications of FEMA, so a decision must be made as to going back and correcting the work or writing them off and sending that money back to the state.
A lively discussion ensued, questioning who was to blame for the unfinished and incorrectly done work and the amount of money needed to complete the work. It will be the court’s decision to repair the roads and bridges with or without FEMA money. “The money has to be spent and then FEMA reimburses us,” noted Kidd.
During the discussion, Gary Fancher KY EM Area 3 Regional Manager was asked to explain the situation. He stated that while in Frankfort, he spoke with Judge Wilson by phone saying that what Frankfort doesn’t realize is, “We’ve got a lot of projects that the prior administration refused to do and when they go looking at that documentation they’re gonna ask for documentation that these projects were done. The sad part about this is and I’ve went through this in other counties as you know this is work that needs to be done, it’s got to be done to fix your roads, you’ve either gotta spend the money on roads or pay that money back to the state, because of the prior deficiencies that were done in some of the accounting figures.”
It was requested by Judge Wilson that Fancher schedule a meeting with state FEMA representatives for the fiscal court members to attend and gain a better understanding. This decision then tabled the subject until the next meeting following the Frankfort trip.
The monthly financials, claims, and inter-fund transfers were approved.
Emory Kidd stated that the main radio site on the Greensburg Road had a lightning strike a week prior and he would turn the damage in to insurance.
Prior to the fiscal court meeting, a public meeting for anyone with objections to the closure of Ferguson Road was opened. No objection was made so the Ferguson Road was officially closed and taken off the county maintenance list.
Metcalfe County Fiscal Court meetings can be viewed on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/metcalfecountyfiscalcourt.