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Emergency Management Director Adam Bennett reviewed the damage to the tower at North Metcalfe. Photo by PJ Martin

By PJ Martin

Editor

The Herald-News

 

The Metcalfe County fiscal court met in regular session last Thursday, March 28th with all magistrates in attendance.

The agenda was adopted and the minutes from the March 14th meeting were approved with no changes.

Emergency Management Director Adam Bennett reviewed the damage done to the North Metcalfe 120 ft. Repeater tower. He stated that the top of the tower was so twisted that a crane had to lift off the top damaged layer leaving 80 ft. of the tower. The emergency repairs cost $3,175.94 and the claim has been filed with insurance.

Magistrate Daniel Bragg asked, “Will the insurance pay anything on the replacement of the tower?” and Magistrate Kevin Crain asked if Bennett knew, “How much insurance money?” Both of these are unknown and awaiting a response from Glass & Thompson Insurance.

John Phelps of EUDS Contracting presented an update on the backlogged FEMA claims. The cost estimated for the entire list is $831,305.53; however, two of the cases have been completed (estimated at $25,338.07) and need to be submitted to FEMA for reimbursement.

The other cases have been either partially completed or are untouched. Phelps asked for approval to draft a letter to the state FEMA representative requesting an extension of time to complete the other work. Approval was given and Phelps explained, “That will give time to provide documentation.”

Some of the claims listed have been deobligated by FEMA meaning to retroactively take back (or deobligate) federal funding. The most common reason cited by FEMA in cases is a lack of documentation and in some circumstances, the deobligation can be appealed.

EUDS Contracting representative John Phelps explained the status of backlogged FEMA projects. Photo by PJ Martin

The total estimated cost of the deobligated projects on the list is $348,775.19.

Bragg pointed out that some of the roads on the list are being repaired by the solar company such as Pitcock Road, Big Jack Road, and Nunnally Road, once the solar installation is completed. Phelps explained that in those cases, only the GPS-specific sections listed on the claims will be submitted to FEMA.

Magistrate Ronnie Miller asked if the quoted costs on the list were accurate (labor, equipment, materials). Phelps answered, “Whatever it is, is what we’re gonna turn in.” Meaning, that if it costs less or costs more, whichever the invoices calculate out to is what would be turned in to FEMA.

“The main thing is following the scope of work,” stated Phelps referring to FEMA approving and reimbursing on claims.

County Clerk Shannon Fields received approval to apply for a grant that would help recoup some of the funds paid last year for voting machines stating, “They’re still handing out money for voting machines.”

County Coroner LeeAnn Jones addressed the court asking for consideration of a cost-of-living raise for the coroner’s office. Judge Wilson replied that it would be looked into before making a decision.

Other Items

Judge Wilson advised that the day may come when a tax may be needed to pay the Barren River District Health Department’s monthly fees. Wilson added that he didn’t want to do it, but if it became necessary there might be no other choice.

The payment for FY 7/1/24 to 6/30/25 is $139,561. That is the annual amount; however, the court is already paying a large past-due balance from previous administrations.

Moe Hensley asked the court if the Lewis Free Bridge closing needed to be reviewed by two people without ties to the road like when closing a road does to which County Attorney Sharon Howard replied she would double check the procedures, but she didn’t think it would.

Solid Waste Coordinator Scotty Mosby announced that the free dumpsters would be available again this year with one at North Metcalfe near the bank, one at Summer Shade Fire Dept., and one at the County Barn in Edmonton.

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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