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Court acts on road money, animal shelter, fairground ownership

Approval for bid writing starts process on conversion
of old ambulance building to low security jail

By Ed Waggener

The Adair County Fiscal Court, still sitting short one member, took major action in its January meeting, including:
  • Changing the way road money is distributed between districts
  • Advancing the establishment of an animal shelter in Columbia
  • Starting negotiations with VFW on county ownership of the Fairgrounds
  • Hiring a firm to prepare bids for conversion of the old ambulance building to a minimum security lockup
Judge-Executive Jerry Vaughan presided at the meeting, Tuesday night, January 11, at a new meeting time of 6:00 p.m.

The court continues to sit without a magistrate for District 5. A vacancy was created when Squire Junior Brown resigned. Some 10 or so persons are known to have interest in the seat. Governor Ernie Fletcher has not yet named a replacement, Judge Vaughan reported. "I still don't have any information. Who knows?" he said, "it may be July."

"Equalization of Road Funds in Districts" approved

In the only action with a split vote, Magistrates Joe Rogers, 6th; J.M. Shelley, 4th; Tony Loy, 3rd, and Roger Stephens, 1st; prevailed to change the way excess state funds for blacktopping and chipping is distributed, to a miles-of-road basis, rather than equal shares to each district.

Despite a protest from Magistrate Terry Farris, 7th, only one other Magistrate, Squire Wid Harris, 2nd, voted against the measure, which passed 4-2, and will take effect immediately. The action affects the way approximately $500,000 in road money is spent, and will mean that districts with more miles will benefit more, districts with fewer miles will receive less.

Near the close of the meeting, a compromise proposal, to have both miles of roads and population density on a road be taken into consideration equally, from Citizen Paul Turner, who lives in District 2, did not elicit a motion to have the matter reconsidered. "I brought that up at the last meeting and it didn't fly," Magistrate Wid Harris said.

Special meeting in a few days to approve animal shelter deal

Judge Vaughn will be calling a special session of the court to approve a basic contract needed to get a $100-120,000 grant to build an animal shelter in Adair County.

Ellen Zornes of G.R.A.W.L., Green River Animal Welfare League, told the court that her group now has an agreement with Metcalfe County Judge Don Butler to participate equally with Adair County in a jointly operated facility in Columbia.

The two counties have a really good chance to get a grant of $100-120,000 for the construction of the facility, but the application has to be in by January 31, 2005, Mrs. Zornes said.

She said that 9.5 acres next to the Adair Youth Development Center will be deeded to the group, and that this acreage will be deeded to Adair County, if the grant is approved.

The shelter will have an operating budget of approximately $40,000 per year and will employ one person full-time and another one part-time.

Cost of running the facility will be split between the two counties, Mrs. Zornes said.

Prior to making the grant application, a resolution approving a contract must be passed by the Adair County Fiscal Court and by the Metcalfe County Fiscal Court.

Judge Vaughan said, "Since the contract is not yet drawn, I can't ask you to approve it. It is now in Jennifer's (County Attorney Jennifer Hutchison) hands. When she completes it, I'll call a special meeting for you to approve it."

The contract and the called meeting are expected shortly, in order to give grant-writer Zornes enough time to prepare the grant application.

Ellen Zornes was accompanied to the meeting by Adair Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Shantila Rexroat, also of G.R.A.W.L.

County to begin negotiations with V.F.W. on Fairgrounds

Acting on a resolution presented by Magistrate Tony Loy, seconded by Squire Terry Farris, the Court voted to enter negotiations on the terms of a transfer of the Adair County Fairgrounds from the V.F.W. to the Fiscal Court.

Magistrate J.M. Shelley expressed reservations about an added responsibility in light of the county's tight budget, but voted with the other five court members to proceed with the paper work.

"They want to deed it to us," Squire Loy said."An agreement would be written to turn it back to them if we wanted to."

The resolution calls for Judge Vaughan to direct negotiations with the V.F.W. and then have the agreement presented to both parties for approval.

The V.F.W. is interested in seeing the continuation of the facility as it is used today. Mr. Loy said that the V.F.W. said they want the transfer because of aging of its members, but that if they can not find a successor owner who will continue the fair. Otherwise, he said, the V.F.W. plans a recruitment drive to get new members.

Brandstetter and Carroll Construction Company hired

The court approved by a 6-0 vote a resolution to hire Brandstetter and Carroll Construction Company to prepare bids for renovation of the old Ambulance Building to be converted to house minimum risk, Class D offenders. Brandstetter and Carroll will be paid $4,500 plus some incidental costs.

County Court Clerk's 2004-2005 budget approved

The court voted 6-0 to approve County Court Clerk Ann Melton's budget for fiscal year 2004-2005.

The budget includes a choice of a 3% raise for employees or an additional $60 on medical insurance. The county now pays $200 per month toward medical insurance. Employees on the county's group plan are currently paying $160.96 each per month out of their own pockets.

The clerk's salary is set by the state, she said, and will not be affected.

Mrs. Melton said fees generated by her office in some areas have been down in some areas, including mortgage fees and fees for vehicle transfers. In the latter, she said, the fees are based on the honor system, and are charged based on whatever people say that gave for it."

Sheriff Cheatham seeking grant for new vehicles

Sheriff Steve Cheatham got an okay to proceed with developing an application for a 35% grant, 65% low interest loan through Rural Development for vehicles for the Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff said he had talked with Hilda Legg about the possibility of getting the money and was told that an application might succeeed, but that it would be breaking new ground. "It's never been done before, they told me," Sheriff Cheatham said.

"If we get the vehicles this way," he said, "it will be like buying two vehicles and getting another one free."

He said that the application would be drawn up by Linda Diaz, Lake Cumberland Area Development District, and then would be presented to the Fiscal Court for approval before the application is forwarded. The court would then vote to authorize Judge Vaughan to sign the application

Sheriff Cheatham said that his employees need reliable vehicles. "We had 170 prisoner transfers out-of-county, many of them out-of-state," he said, adding that he feels responsibility to see that they travel in safe vehicles.

Some of the sheriff's department cars have high mileage, he said. "Donald Knifley (deputy sheriff) is driving a Crown Vic with over 160,000 miles on it," he said.

The court approved the Sheriff's maximum salary annual order, his 2004-2005 Budget, and the Sheriff's advancement bond and report, all with 6-0 votes.

New stop signs at intersection of Hutchison-Loy Road and Buck Watson Road

The court approved, 6-0, a resolution by Magistrate Joe Rogers to have three stop signs erected at the intersection of Hutchison-Loy Road and Buck WatsonA second reading is required before the resolution takes effect.

Re-appoint Larry Marshall and Robert Flowers to water commission

The court approved 6-0, in two separate actions, the re-appointments of Larry Marshall and Robert Flowers to the Adair County Water Commission. He noted that the Adair County Water Commission is more a a policy group for the county jointly with the city; and not the Adair County Water District.

Extend Rescue Squad's authority to operate in Adair

The court approved, 6-0, Judge Vaughan's recommendation to extend the authority of the Rescue Squad to operate in Adair County.

Reappoint Greg Thomas

Judge Vaughan's recommendation to re-appoint Greg Thomas as Adair County Search and Rescue Coordinator was approved 6-0.

New maps on disks are ready, 911 Coordinator Mary Allender says

Adair County 911 Coordinator Mary Allender told the court that the disks for corrected county maps are ready. She said there had been a hold-up at the State level, but that she wanted them in the magistrates hands as soon as possible.

Road name corrected to "Johnston' Cemetery Road

In another matter relating to county roads, the court approved the correction of the Johnston Cemetery Road in the Mt. Carmel area of Magistrate Joe Roger's District. The road has mistakenly been recorded as "Johnson" Cemetery Road, and the correct name is "Johnston" Cemetery Road.

Routine votes

Routine votes on approval of minutes, the financial report, quarterly report, and budget transfers were all given unanimous approval.

Also present at the minute, besides those previously mentioned were Deputy Judge Lisa Cowan; Payroll Clerk/Secretary Lisa Lee, County Treasurer Larry Dudley, interested citizens, and members of the media.

The present Adair County Fiscal Court also consists Judge Executive Jerry Vaughan of the following magistrates:
  • District 1: Roger Stephens
  • District 2: Wid Harris
  • District 3: Tony Loy
  • District 4: J.M. Shelley
  • District 5: Vacant since resignation of Junior Brown
  • District 6: Joe Rogers
  • District 7: Terry Farris

This story was posted on 2005-01-12 11:28:01
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