Photo by Lisa Bicknell
Troop Leader Emma Day is pictured at left with Girl Scouts from Troops 661 and 7182 . They were presented certificates by Judge Wallace Taylor for earning bronze and silver medals for various community service projects.
Good weather has given county road crews the opportunity to do some of the work they typically do in April or May, said Estill County Judge-executive Wallace Taylor.
However, progress on the state’s Hwy. 89 project on the north side of town has stalled. Taylor said he’s had questions about the lack of progress, but, “It’s a Windstream issue.”
He also said someone from the state will attend the next fiscal court meeting to discuss future road projects.
Linville Smyth, a resident from South Irvine, spoke up to encourage other communities to organize neighborhood watches. He said drug dealers are “moving out” of the SI community and that they aren’t happy with him, but he is hoping the rest of the county will consider neighborhood watches.
“They do help,” he said.
Jeff Dozier, from the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway, approached the court to ask for their approval to promote a loop around the hotly contested Mountain Springs Road. His organization is developing a driving trail that will circle Slade’s tourism portal.
Although it is considerably longer than the route across Mountain Spring Rd., some folks won’t mind that, he said. The route will use county and state roads that are already widely used, but Dozier wanted the court “to be on the same page,” because the group plans to erect signage to remind tourists not to litter, etc. The signs will be installed according to DOT specifications.
Visitors to the area will navigate the route by GPS signal.
“Technology keeps people on the road,” he said, so there should not be concern of people wandering off onto private property.
Dozier and another member of the DBBB spoke of the benefits of the trails. They have $100,000 in grant money to spend and that a “managed recreation system helps run drug users out.”
His club also does two clean-ups a year and other community service projects. Last year they collected money and items for a children’s home.
There was considerable discussion again of the fate of the Mountain Springs Rd. One couple said they have had access to their property since 1945 until recently when the road has been blocked.
Locals say that a gate remains on the county road.
County Attorney Rodney Davis said that Judge Trude received a petition from Kevin and Rebecca Moses to close the road altogether.
He said he’s not saying that the county should do it, but that the court must go through the legal process, whether or not the request is denied.
Davis also said he will file suit on behalf of the county to remove the gate, and he will see if he can get a judge to issue the restraining order on Thursday.
Sherriff Gary Freeman said he will go or send someone to remove the gate once he has the injunction in hand.
Jailer Bo Morris provided a jail report to the court. He said they have found a vendor to make the grate on the smoke-vac system. The spacing on the grate was off by about 1/16th of an inch, and it must meet state specifications.
Jail population ranges from 50 to 60 per day in a 16-bed facility, Morris reported. He also said he’s done some cost comparison on meal preparation at the jail versus purchasing packaged meals.
Meals prepared at the jail range in cost from $1.07 to $2.01. Jackson County, with at least twice the number of inmates, pays $1.69 to $1.79 each for packaged meals. Morris estimated that smaller quantities of packaged meals would equal a slightly greater cost.
He also said that following a state inspection, the back-flow valve has to be replaced at a cost of $4,600.
In other business, the court passed Resolution 17-01 Homeland Security Grant, and asked for permission to advertise Senior Citizen Center Services, bids for a radio console system, and for EOC computer replacement.
The next regularly scheduled fiscal court meeting is March 20 at 6 p.m. in the downstairs courtroom.