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Bridges, bridges, bridges and no tax increases

Bridges were the biggest topic of discussion during Monday night’s meeting of the Carter County Fiscal Court.

A resident of Reeves Hollow, off KY 1496, was the first bridge case. Steven Thornberry presented photos of a small bridge that has deteriorated and is unsafe for travel in his opinion. Photos showed the end of wooden beams that have broken off and where the bridge has separated from land to small degree.

In a recent accident, a person was attempting to visit Thornberry in a new Dodge truck and ended running of the bridge after a piece of wood broke. He said the truck only had about 1,300 miles on it at the time of the accident.

The court agreed to install new, wider beams and wood runners to make the bridge safer for travel. Work will take a short while to get started as it is a state-rated structure and improvements will have to be checked the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

A complete replacement for the bridge may come later.

Five other bridges already under consideration for replacement were bidded out during the meeting also.

  • A bridge on Fields Branch Road, near Grayson, was awarded to Contech Engineering for $44,435.61.
  • A bridge on Bowling Drive, near Grayson, will be replaced at a cost of $39,449.24 and was awarded to E&E Engineering.
  • A bridge on Buffalo Creek, near Carter City, will be replaced for $77,220.
  • A bridge on Flat Fork Road, near Olive Hill, will be replaced by Contech for $44,578.35.
  • A bridge on Appaloosa Lane, near Olive Hill, will be replaced by Contech for $55,441.

The bridges on Flat Fork Road and Appaloosa Lane will see their replacement later as they await funds to become available.

Buddy Grayson, a Chief Deputy of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, asked the court to consider raising starting wages for incoming deputies as the department is having difficulty retaining enough manpower.

The department is down to five deputies and Deputy Grayson believes at least two more deputies will leave for higher-paying positions with other agencies.

“That will leave virtually just me and Jeff,” Grayson said. “We have one in the academy right now but they were off all last week for the [Labor Day] holiday.”

Currently, deputies are paid $13.50 per hour, having a base salary of about $27,000 per year before benefits. Deputy Grayson asked the court to consider a salary of about $40,000 per year. The court asked the department to come back with more numbers so they can consider how to manipulate the budget and possibly add more funds to the sheriff’s office.

Trash containers for the popular county clean-up program are on order and awaiting delivery. The road department will hire a part-time person at $11.50 per hour to oversee state inmates used for the program when the containers are delivered and the program is restarted.

The court approved for Darby Rayburn to install guardrails on Wells Road in an area where a hairpin turn bordered a steep cliff and river. The guardrails will cost up to $3,000.

Grahn Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lonnie Sturgill presented photos of the current state of the creek in Grahn which showed tree stumps and saplings starting to grow through the concrete liner. He requested the court’s assistance in getting the creek cleaned up. The court agreed to use state inmates in the cleanup effort when the road department has some additional time to focus on the project.

In other business, the court voted not to change any tax rates on real or tangible property and voted to purchase a 2016 Nissan truck for the 911 department. The truck will be used to access tower sites and routine work for the department. It will replace a more than 20-year-old Jeep.

The centerline for Gabe-Carroll Cemetery Road will also be resurveyed before being updated in the county road system.

The Carter County News live streams government meetings on it’s Facebook page.
The video from this meeting can be viewed below.

Carter County Fiscal Court monthly meeting

Posted by The Carter County News on Monday, September 9, 2019

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

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