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Adair County Fiscal Court September 14, 2010 report
By Ed Waggener
A plea for a joint City-County Parks and Recreation Board, a better nuisance law, and the problems with the Adair County Regional Jail operation dominated the Tuesday night, September 14, 2010, regular meeting of Adair Fiscal Court.
Columbia City Councillor Charles Grimsley, who is also Chairman of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Board, presented a plan for a new 9-member joint board to oversee operation of all City and County Parks in Adair County.
The new board, as outlined by Grimsley, will have 9-members, with the members now on the City Board continuing on the new one, and the addition of four new members appointed by Fiscal Court and one member to be appointed by the joint board itself.
Grimsley said that advantages will be many, including more adequate funding, the added power of joint grant applications, and a park system which will serve all Adair Countians, with bigger projects.
He said that the nine-member panel will be able to do research which otherwise might have to done under contract with expensive planning firms.
A proposed county ordinance was not approved at the meeting, but, on the advice of Judge Melton and County Attorney Jennifer Hutchison-Corbin, the Court voted to authorize her to meet with City Attorney Marshall Loy to write new ordinances with similar or same language for both entities.
Grimsley cited the success of recent City-County utilities merger as an example of how cooperative efforts can benefit Adair County.
Judge Melton told the court that funding for parks is already in the budget, but has not been used for this and one past fiscal year.
Light pollution, noise, trailer courts issues raised
JJ Hathaway, a resident of Bird Road, made a plea to the court to face challenges in the area of light pollution, noise pollution, and problems with lack of tight controls over the construction of trailer parks in the county.
The court has been getting increasing complaints in these areas. Hathaway said that the lights installed at a mobile home park recently built across the street from his home have interfered with the natural cycles of the horses at his stables and that light pollution is a threat to wildlife.
He was accompanied to the meeting by his wife, Mary Phelps, who moved her Internet and Horse Photography business to Bird Road from Florida recently.
Phelps is consider the top, or one of the top, horse photographers in the world, especially in dressage events.
Hathaway told the court that the boom Adair County has enjoyed in drawing retirees and others relocating here, because of the natural beauty, could come to a halt if the county does not do more to protect those who have made substantial investments here.
He noted that a growing Adair County industry, tourism, could also suffer.
After Judge Melton conferred with Sheriff Ralph Curry, she announced that Sheriff Curry would be investigating the situation on Bird Road to see if any existing laws are being broken.
Judge Melton noted that the county's does not yet have a nuisance law to address the problem.
Jail problems addressed with Jailer absent
A Prison Industry problem which has become a somewhat sensationalized media item occupied much of the court's time on Tuesday night, with the court making changes in the Adair County Regional Jail's Policies and Procedures, to accommodate a change in a convention formerly in place between the court and the Regional Jailer.
While the Court has always recognized that the Jailer has the legal authority to hire and fire jail personnel, in the past, personnel at the jail have been the subject of court scrutiny and approval. In return, the court had helped the Jail through almost continuous budget shortfalls.
That came to a halt after the court declined to approve an employee recommended by Regional Jailer Bug Knight, after which, Bug Knight asserted his legal authority and hired the employee as a Deputy Jailer, anyway.
Now the court has approved new language in the Policy and Procedures for the jail which does not require court approval.
But the court did vote limits on the number of employees the Regional Jailer may hire, and voted to send a certified letter to Bug Knight requesting his presence at the next court meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday in October, to discuss the budget and its limits.The employee limits voted are as follows:
(The controversy at the jail comes at a time when the big jails, many built in part as an economic development tools, are coming to have problems many had believed inherent in the Prison Industry. It was highlighted by the closing on Russell County Jail at 5pmCT, on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 for failure to meet state safety issues. (According to Larry Smith, WHVE radio, the inmates were moved to the Casey County Regional Jail last night.) Other Kentucky counties with the big jails are experiencing severe financial strains caused by jail subsidies. And liabilities and possible lawsuits remain a constant fear for officials in counties with big Incarceration Industries.
Jailer's report delivered to Magistrates
The jailer's report for August, 2010, was delivered to Magistrates and showed August net billings of $83,750.72.
Red ink at the Animal Shelter for August
The Green River Animal Shelter reported a deficit month August, with adoption, surrender fees, license fees, donations, and rescue fees totaling $1,837, vs August expenses of $3,313.52. The expenses do not include the utilities, salaries or vehicle.
The shelter reported 21 adoptions, 38 animals going to rescue, and 203 euthanizations.
County treasury at one of its highest levels
The Adair County Fiscal Court Treasury stood at one of its highest levels, at $1,401,090.99 total for the reconciled balances in all funds, Adair County Treasurer Barry Corbin reported at the Tuesday, September 14, 2010 meeting.Corbin said that the high total was due in part to the receipt of state money into the county's road fund, which now stands at $805,926.20. Expected receipts of FEMA funds for road repairs already done could raise the total to record levels in October, 2010, he said before the meeting.
The court unanimously authorized a routine request giving authorization to the County Treasurer to make budget transfers as they might be needed until the next Fiscal Court meeting.
Reading of Roads
Emergency Management Coordinator Justin Bailey presented the Reading of the Roads, which included the following, all approved:
Poster contest winners recognized
Winners of a poster contest conducted by Adair County Solid Waste Coordinator A.L. Sinclair, Pride's Mark Davis, and Adair Fiscal Court Pride Coordinator Lisa Lee were recognized, along with teachers Tara McQueary and Pam Compton. They are:
Judge Melton also recognized members of the American Legion Mustangs Baseball Team from Adair County. The team won the Kentucky State Championship and played in the Regional Championship in Texas. They were 25-14 on the season.
County pays for training of sheriff's deputies
The Court voted, on a motion by First District Magistrate Danny Goodin, with a second by Fifth District Magistrate Billy Dean Coffey, to pay $1,280 in training costs for the Adair Judicial Center. The training is required by the Administrative Offices of the Courts, but is not paid for by the AOC, Sheriff Ralph Curry said. The officer training was conducted in Richmond.
Sheriff Curry said that his office does not have the extra funds to pay for the training. The training 80 hours of training is conducted in Richmond, KY.
The court voted to approve the following court orders:
The court unanimously approved a second reading adopting a compensating tax rate for 2010-2011. The vote, on a motion by Billy Dean Coffey (5), seconded by Danny Goodin (1).
Two 911 part-time dispatchers hired
In separate actions, the court approved the hiring of two part-time 911 dispatchers at $8.00 per hour. They are Corey Skaggs, and Nicholas Gray.
Revised Flood Plan Adopted
The court unanimously approved a second reading of a revised Flood Ordinance for Adair County.
Judge Melton announces the return of A.L. Sinclair
Judge Melton announced that A.L Sinclair, Adair County's famed Solid Waste Coordinator, has returned after undergoing orthopedic surgery. Sinclair was not present at the meeting, and Judge Melton announced that the 3rd Annual Adair Co., KY Medication Take Back Program will take place on September 25, 2010
The program is a joint effort by the Adair County Judges Office, Solid Waste Management Program, Coroners Office, Adair County Sheriff's Office, Columbia Police Department and the Adair Ambulance Service.
The Take Back will be conducted in the parking lot by Taco Bell, 899 Jamestown ST, Columbia, KY.
County gives $1,625 to Middle School football
The Court unanimously voted to match $1,625 raised by the Middle School football team in roadblocks. The money is to be used to buy safety equipment for the players. The request was made by Amanda Taylor.
Routine matters approved routinely
Routine court matters, including minutes, and payment of bills were routinely and unanimously approved.
With the high profile absence of any jail representative, attendance at the lengthy meeting was high.
End of Meeting Report, September 14, 2010, meeting
Information about Your Adair County Fiscal Court
Regular monthly Adair County Fiscal Court meetings are held at7:00pmCT., each second Tuesday. The meetings are open to thepublic.
A LIST OF YOUR ADAIR COUNTY OFFICIALS
Adair County Judge Executive Ann Melton
421 Public Square, Suite 1, Columbia, KY 42728
Phone 270-384-4703; Fax 270-384-9754
OTHER ELECTED ADAIR COUNTY OFFICIALS
The ADAIR COUNTY FISCAL COURT
Magistrates on the Adair County Fiscal Court:
Adair County Constables
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This story was posted on 2010-09-16 08:04:15
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