Photo by Lisa Bicknell
One little girl had to have a boost from Girl Scout Troop Leader Emma Day so she could shake the hands of magistrates and the judge.
By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
In his judge’s address on Monday night during the Estill County fiscal court meeting, Judge-executive Kevin Williams reported that the jail transport plan is working to save the county money. Because of these savings, he believes the county will be safe to budget $900,000 for housing and transporting inmates for fiscal year 2018-19.
So far this year, the county has spent $1,117,000 on housing and transporting inmates, with May and June still to go.
Williams expressed appreciation for the jailer and the transport officers for being “great to work with,” as well as the magistrates, for their help in hammering out a contract with Lee county to house all inmates from Estill County, both male and female, at a cost of about $32 per inmate.
Williams said that it would take “hundreds and thousands” to get the jail going again, even if repairs required by the state were made and that it is effectively a closed jail.
There are now three full-time jail transport employees, down from nine at one time, and a pool of part-time employees, with two or three typically working at a time, at a savings of about $4,500 every two weeks. Besides that, Williams said, the county is saving on utilities, water, electric, and gas. He also said that the new transport van is being used frequently. It had 2,000 miles on it when he took office, and now has about 13,000.
“This is working,” said Judge Williams, who added that the transport officers are utilizing a new reporting system so that everything is logged, and purchase orders are being handled differently.
In the county attorney’s report, Rodney Davis said that Judge Michael Dean has ruled as the county requested, holding the Kevin and Rebecca Moes in contempt of court for blocking Mt. Springs Rd. Each will be fined $500 each, or serve 10 days in jail, contingent on paying the fine.
Girls Scout Troops 661 and 144 attended the meeting and were recognized for the many ways they contribute service to the community.
“They are a real benefit and a real asset to the county,” Judge Williams said. Each scout was presented a certificate and a handshake from each of the magistrates and the judge.
Joe Crawford, Estill Development Alliance director, presented a report to the fiscal court. He said it is “a big deal,” that some of Estill County has been designated an Opportunity Zone. He also said it is yet to be determined how the Economic Development Cabinet will make the new capital available for further development in Estill County.
Crawford reported that work to remove asbestos from the Mack Theater is underway, and the next step will be to hire a structural engineer. After the Theater is structurally sound, the building’s electric and plumbing will have to be brought up to code.
He also said that planning continues for Moonlight Market, scheduled to happen on six Friday evenings throughout the warm months, the first event being on May 11. The events will feature vendors, live music, arts, demonstrations, and other activities for all age groups.
Signs are being ordered this week to install for Trail Town, Crawford said, and hopes are that a trial Trail Town event can be held soon.
Judge Williams said he wanted to clarify that the theater space will be used more as an arts and cultural center, and that it will “be awhile” before movies could be shown.
The county will be meeting with Bluegrass ADD and discussing the next round of funding for the Mack Theater and will be applying for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant.
Magistrate Marty Snowden, asked if the original theater held more people, and Crawford said it would hold less than 300, which would be fewer seats than it once had.
The county continues to check into the market for some surplus tanks currently stored at the site of the proposed biofuel plant.
Judge Williams said he’d like to have a preview day where people can walk in and look at the equipment, then the court could decide whether to take sealed bids or have a public auction.
In new business, sealed bids were opened for some surplus items.
A bid of $1,037 came in from Tyler Noland for a 2000 Chevy S-10 4×4 (the old animal shelter truck). Dale Clark made a bid of $800 for the same truck. The court accepted the highest bid.
A bid of $4,500 came from Richard Hamblin for a 1999 Freightliner box truck. Clark bid $3,500, but the court voted to reject both bids, because they thought the truck was worth more.
A bid of $7,700 was made by Tyler Noland for the 1996 Ford dump truck (with a broken frame). A second bid was opened for the amount of $3,500, but the court voted to accept the high bid.
Ronnie Riddell, CSEPP director, explained the items on the agenda listed for permission to advertise. Requests were made for funds for yearly siren maintenance, the microwave modification project, and the replacement of generators. The court approved, as Judge Williams explained the projects are 100 percent funded by federal dollars. The court also voted to give permission to purchase radios. Williams said that was almost $300,000 coming into the county, which he said is a good thing.
In other business, the appointment of Industrial Development Authority board members was put off to the next meeting. Williams said he would like to “rebrand” the board with the court’s permission, and perhaps call it the Estill County Economic Authority.
Williams said he is passionate about getting the Kentucky River Park developed further and he has met with Scott Jones to discuss a scaled down version of park plans. Williams hopes a campground can soon be open for travel ball teams and their families, etc.
Susan Starling was reappointed to the Health Department Board of Health Taxing District.
The fiscal court continues to chip away at unpaid claims to Hinkle, for jail expenses, and to “Hollerwood,” with the goal of paying them all by June 30.
The fiscal court will have a special called meeting, on May 17, at 4:30 p.m. The regular meeting time was changed to accommodate the upcoming election schedule.