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Road issues and equipment dominate Fiscal Court discussion

Gabe-Carroll Cemetery Road made yet another presence at the regular monthly meeting of the Carter County Fiscal Court on Monday, July 8.

A local property owner, Ferman Sheppard, asked the court if the road could be moved about 30-feet from its current location so that he would not have to move his fence line. The court appointed two “disinterested” persons, Judge-Executive Mike Malone and Donnie Oppenheimer, to go and survey the area and report back to the governing body next month.

The court then discussed, per public comment, the roads that would see repairs. In addition to the roads mentioned in our previous fiscal court article, Malone said the equipment would cycle throughout the districts for a currently undetermined amount of time.

Eugene Williams then asked the court on the status of Williams Creek Road. Malone explained that funds are currently still waiting to come available from FEMA to finish repair work on that road. Additionally, Mountain Enterprises is full-up on projects while they’re currently working on the AA Highway, and soon, KY 7 the south of Grayson.

Minutes from the June meeting were amended to reflect the approval of R.W. Boggs’ request to raise wages at the jail to $11.50 per hour in an effort to retain staff.

Reggie Hill Road is currently in limbo as court officials have been unable to locate any previous court records that state the road was brought into the county road system.

“I think if we can find evidence to prove that it’s in the road system, we should honor it,” Malone said. “And, if we can’t, then it would have to meet the road ordinance to be brought in.”

Malone then provided an update on the status of road equipment for which the county has sought a loan for. The pneumatic roller for “claycrete” will be delivered Tuesday. A reclaimer and a steel drum roller are also scheduled to be delivered in the near future. The pneumatic roller costs $65,000, the reclaimer $85,000, and the steel drum roller costed around $18,000.

The court approved Malone to seek a short-term, 90-day, loan from the Commercial Bank of Grayson to pay for the reclaimer in short order with the loan to be repaid once the county is awarded the loan from the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo). The loan from Commercial Bank has a 4.45-percent interest rate with a $500 origination fee.

Malone then asked for volunteer magistrates to join him in a meeting, with Elliott County Judge-Executive Myron Lewis, to discuss the possibility of either temporarily swapping or renting each other’s county road equipment. Malone particularly pointed out that he would like to borrow or rent Elliott County’s tack oil truck.

The county treasurer provided the court with a financial plan if percentage-based pay raises to county employees were enacted. Two, three and five percent pay raises were considered but tabled pending further review and discussion.

The court then turned its attention to the popular county cleanup program. The court currently lacks the funds to pay for the expenses associated with have an ongoing disposal program of that type. Malone is interested in leasing a 2020 model year large-size truck to haul the dumpsters to area landfills.

The ability to resale the vehicle to the private market, and avoid paying a “gas hog” tax, is appealing as hauling the waste is the biggest obstacle for the program thus far.

Department reports were heard last. The Sheriff’s office reported a total of 1,536 contacts. 61 of which were served warrants and 82 were arrests.

Animal Control reported 46 dogs were taken to the Carter County Animal Shelter with eight adoptions, 29 rescues and eight reclaimed. Nine dogs remained at the shelter as of June 30. The shelter cost the county $3,450 per week on average. Malone said it has significantly saved the county money when compared to taking stray animals to Rowan County and having to pay their shelter substantially more.

The full meeting can be viewed from this live-streamed video we originally streamed to Facebook.

Cory Claxon can be reached at cclaxon@cartercounty.news or by phone at (606) 225-5912.

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