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No Bars

Steve Brookshire, Sr. asking the court to remove the Lewis Free Bridge. Photo by PJ Martin

By PJ Martin

Editor

The Herald-News

 

The Metcalfe County fiscal court met in regular session last Thursday with everyone in attendance.

After the minutes from the February 8th meeting were approved, Metcalfe County Clerk Shannon Fields addressed the court and presented her 2023 office settlement check of $74,143.03 back to fiscal court. Fields noted that the recording fees were down last year from previous years.

As requested at the last meeting by Magistrate Ronnie Miller, the alcohol ordinance amendment options were researched by ABC Administrator Lorrie Gilpin. She relayed that before the amendment can have a first reading, the court must approve to amend the ordinance. Gilpin added that if the quota drink license were amended to allow bars or sports bars, there would be an unlimited number that could open in the county. That changed in 2018 from a county quota to unlimited.

Judge/Executive Larry Wilson asked Miller for his comments, because he brought the subject up at the last meeting. Miller said, “Well, I got some feedback on that…”

Magistrate Daniel Bragg asked to speak, “We’ve ahh, just as a matter of principle I believe that people should be allowed to do what they want to, but as a representative of the people you have to do what the people ask you to do and most people are not for this. So everyone I’ve spoken to they’ve become ok with the idea of package stores, but they’re concerned about people drinking and then driving home…there’s a lot of concern in the community.”

Magistrate Kevin Crain added that he received the same feedback from his constituents and Magistrate Harvey Hawkins also agreed.

Judge Wilson said that he received very negative responses from the public as well. When he asked for a motion to approve an amendment to the ordinance, it died for lack of a response; therefore, there will remain no bars allowed within the county.

 

Stephen Hays requesting that Woods Road be returned to its original name of Wood Road. Photo by PJ Martin

Woods Road

 Next, Stephen Hays requested the name of Woods Road be changed back to its original name of Wood Road, because it was named after his grandmother. No one is sure when or how the name was changed.

The judge explained that the court had been doing some research and in 1998 the state showed the road name listed as Woods Road and that the only way to change the name would be for 50% or more of the residents on the road to agree to the change it.

County Attorney Sharon Howard advised that he (Hays) could write a simple petition and get the residents to sign it agreeing to the name change and bring it back to the court for the change vote.

Crain asked how many things it would change by reverting the name back to Wood and Wilson answered nothing but the sign.

 

Lewis Free Bridge

Steve Brookshier, Sr. spoke to the court about the bridge on Lewis Free Road. He also thanked the county road crew for all they have done to help him.

Brookshier spoke, “The bridge with the culverts in it that was put in twenty-some years ago. I remember when Neal Moss put that bridge in. I questioned it at the time, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. This bridge is not a bridge, it’s a dam!”

He explained that the bridge is 100 feet long and 23 feet of it has 7 culverts in it. The creek is 68 feet and that means you’re trying to force a 68-foot creek into a 23 foot opening. “Somethin’s gotta be done and the only cure for this is this…A bridge goes from bank to bank. It doesn’t. It’s got a hundred feet with a little opening. So you’re either gonna have to come up with a 100-foot bridge…or you just take it out.”

“Just take it out, because I own everything in that bottom and all my families own both sides.” He explained that they can travel the new Mosby Ridge Bridge and have two ways to get out.

The magistrates had already voted to take the bridge out at a previous meeting and the question that lingered was did FEMA money go toward building the bridge 20-something years ago and is there a limit to the contract if it did?

EUDS Consulting representatives were on hand to present the pros and cons of either building a larger bridge or removing the current bridge. It was determined that the bridge was not built under a FEMA Contract and it lies in a floodplain area.

To summarize the report: building a larger bridge would cost around $100,000, but removing the center 30-foot section and leaving the natural bottom would cost around $11,000.

KYEM Area 3 Manager Gary Fancher was asked about the bridge and he advised that the bridge is listed as de-obligated. By today’s standards, the bridge would not pass inspection. The new regulations require the span of the tiles to be the span of the creek. “You have to get a permit from the Division of Water and they may ask for an H & H Study.”

 

Solid Waste Issues

Solid Waste Coordinator Scotty Mosby addressed the court about the increasing problem of trash in the county. He gave an example: He took his two employees and they cleaned 5 miles of Hwy 163 roadway and collected 200 bags of trash.

“Every day I go out and look at a dump or somebody burning trash. I get a call or a message or something every day. I usually give them a verbal warning…This on the sides of the road is just (shrugging his shoulders in disbelief) my two guys just can’t keep up with it. There’s just no way!”

Options need to be explored to help with the trash problem. “The dumps are out of hand. I went and looked at three yesterday,” said Mosby adding, “We’re doing the best we can.”

Judge Wilson agreed that Mosby should purchase cameras and other options for manpower were briefly discussed.

 

Other business

The Tire Amnesty will occur on May 16th, 17th, and 18th from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Metcalfe County Fairgrounds.

The next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, March 14th at 9 a.m. at the fiscal courtroom of the Metcalfe County Government Center.

This session of the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court can be viewed on their Facebook page at Metcalfe https://www.facebook.com/metcalfecountyfiscalcourt.

 

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