March 16, 2004, News Headlines.
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Fiscal Court - Plant Board - School Board - Accident
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Continuing road problems addressed
|By Al Owens
The Lewis County
Fiscal Court held its regular session this month in the second floor district courtroom of
the Justice Center rather than in the courthouse because workers are installing new
windows on the third floor of the courthouse.
Lewis County resident Randy Thornton paid a return visit to the court to complain about
the condition of Willim Branch. He said that since his visit last month the hillside has
slid into the road.
Thornton told the court that he considered the road so dangerous he would not let his
daughter ride the school bus. He added that large limbs were sticking out over the roadway
posing a hazard to all vehicles passing the area.
Thornton acknowledged that the road department had put more rock on the road since last
month's meeting but that it did not solve the problem.
Road Foreman Dane Howard explained that Ben Johnson owns the property, and he has given
the court permission to take the hillside off and move the dirt into a nearby field and to
relocate the road. Recent rains, however, have left the ground saturated with water and
heavy equipment cannot operate in the mud.
County Judge Steve Applegate told Thornton that the county would send a backhoe out
there and keep the road passable and safe for the public until the ground dried out enough
to do the repair work.
Turning to other business the court renewed a contract with Brewer Lawn Service to mow
the right-of-way at the Vanceburg Industrial Park at Black Oak for a yearly fee of $250.
The court approved the purchase of a 2004 Chevrolet 7500 2-1/2 ton dump truck with a
plow and salter for $71,550.25.
Magistrates quickly renewed an annual contract with the Montgomery County Regional Jail
for the fiscal year 2004-05. The contract clears the way for Lewis County to house inmates
in Montgomery County if the local detention center becomes over crowded. Applegate pointed
out that the county has never had to use the Montgomery County facility but the renewed
contract would make that possible if it became necessary.
The court re-entered the County Road Aid Agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Transportation Cabinet for the fiscal year 2004-05. The agreement makes funds available
for Kentucky counties in the event of a major disaster and permits other counties to come
in and render assistance.
The court moved to approve payment of $550 for the 10-year radio repeater license for
local fire departments at the request of the Lewis County Firefighter's Association.
The court agreed to draw up a contract permitting Larry Fannin to cut hay on 17 acres
of county property on Fannin Lane for the year 2004. The county purchased the property
from Fannin, and the agreement assures that the property will be mowed and bush hogged at
no cost to the county government.
The magistrates approved the appointment of Mark Riley to a full time position with the
County Road Department.
The court accepted and approved an amendment to the County Personnel Policy. The
amendment states that unused sick leave days or unused vacation days may be carried over
from year to year and shall accumulate without limitation. The employer shall not pay or
compensate the employee in money for the unused and accumulated sick days or vacation
days. However, the employee may elect to utilize those unused days prior to retirement or
other planned voluntary cessation of employment by giving notice to the employer that the
employee desires to receive compensation for those unused days in lieu of work. The policy
does not apply to involuntary termination of employment. In other words, the employee
would be paid by the regular pay scale for an eight-hour day for each sick day or vacation
day accumulated but would not actually report to work. In addition the employer would pay
the worker on regular paydays as if they were working and not in a lump sum. The effect of
the policy would be to allow employees to cease actual work before the date they retire or
voluntarily cease employment.
The fiscal court gave first reading and
approval to an ordinance establishing a Fire Tax District for an area surrounding
Vanceburg. The tax upon all property in the district would not exceed ten cents per $100
of valuation as assessed for county taxes. The district would be referred to as the Lewis
County North-Central Fire Protection District and would encompass a radius extending five
miles from the point of origin on Lions Lane.
The new district includes the area of both the Lewis County High School and Middle
School. It includes the following roads within the five-mile radius: Alum Rock Ridge Road,
Garrad Lane, Reese Road, Fly Branch Road, Hazel Road, Underwood Lane, Green Valley Road,
Little Sulfer, White Lane, Oakland Park access Road, Pollitt Lane, Benton Street, Southern
Manor Road, Goodwin Lane, Pepoon Lane, Monteith Road, Little Sulpher Road, Blue Springs
Branch Road, Ghost Hollow, Twelve Trees Lane, Town Branch, Lions Lane and Clarksburg Road.
The tax district has become necessary because the City of Vanceburg lacks sufficient
equipment and resources to continue providing fire protection in that area. The tax levied
would raise an estimated $24,431 over the next three years.
According to the ordinance as worded fire protection in the district should have a
positive impact on possible growth in the area. The magistrates discussed the issue at
length and noted that insurance rates for homeowners would probably be lowered and could
possibly offset the cost of the tax.
Before the ordinance becomes law a public hearing will be held prior to its second
reading and adoption by the court.
The court approved the use of emergency lights by the Lewis County Coroner. Applegate
reported that the sheriff had no problem with the coroner using the lights. Coroner Tony
Gaydos had indicated to Applegate that he had been caught in traffic and could not pass on
occasion when he was en route to a traffic accident or other scene of death.
The court moved to approve the sale of two Crown Victorias and a Ford Taurus as surplus
The court gave first reading and approval to two budget amendment ordinances. Both
amendments deal with unbudgeted receipts from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The first one was for $183,940 from the Transportation Cabinet and will be used for
gravel and stone. It also includes $220,000 of federal reimbursement money. Of the latter
$170,000 will be used for road projects and $50,000 for road worker salaries.
The second one was for $30,000 for the jail fund and will be applied to deputy
The court tabled approval of the rewording and updating of the language in a
supplemental agreement with CSX Transportation, Inc., regarding property in Garrison until
the magistrates can learn more about the property referred to and the details of the
Applegate announced that March 21-27 has been designated as Lewis County Cleanup Week.
During the week the Solid Waste Department will accept all appliances, tires, furniture
and televisions at its location off KY 3037 at no charge to county residents. Items that
will not be accepted are computer monitors, propane tanks and household waste. For more
information all the county judge's office at 606-796-2722 or the Solid Waste office at
Applegate also announced that the next regular session of the fiscal court will be held
on Monday, April 12, at 9:30 a.m. on the third floor of the courthouse.
At the request of First District Magistrate Milt Stanfield the court agreed to write a
four-year contract giving Wendall Ray Applegate permission to seed down and mow the hay
off the property at the Tollesboro Industrial Park.
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gets SCADA demo
|By Al Owens
The Electric Plant
Board of the City of Vanceburg held its regular session March 9 and was treated to a show
and tell of the new Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer system now
installed with the water department.
Department manager Chad Clark demonstrated the system to the board after the meeting
was adjourned. He explained that the system enables employees to stay at the computer and
check the water levels and the pumps' operation without having to take the time, man-hours
and fuel costs to go to the site. The system serves all kinds of pertinent data with the
click of a mouse.
During the actual demonstration the phone rang and a customer in the Laurel area
reported that he was without water. The computer screen showed a red alarm from that area.
Clark said that last week a water leak occurred in the Quicks Run area when
Fleming-Mason broke a water line while digging. He said when the water level dropped in
the tank the computer sounded the alarm before the phone call came to report the problem.
He showed the board members how he or another worker can use the SCADA system to set
the pumps to turn on when the water drops to a selected level and to turn off when the
level reaches the desired height in a well or tank without leaving the office.
Clark said that SCADA was the best timesaving tool he had ever seen and is one of the
best investments the utility company has ever made.
Superintendent Phil Kennedy said the system could later be set up to monitor both the
electric and sewer systems just like it now monitors the water system. The program is
already in place on the computers.
He did have one complaint about using the computers when the employees take the laptops
home with them. He has had difficulty reaching workers by phone to report a problem
because someone in the family has been on the Internet and the phone lines have been tied
Possible solutions include using Alltel's
online phone answering program or Call Wave, a similar system. Other possibilities would
be having an extra phone line installed at the two residences or going to a wireless
Internet connection that will soon be available through EKNS.
Kennedy announced that a native Lewis Countian is now working for Governor Ernie
Fletcher's administration. Former Lewis County Judge Executive George Plummer is the
Principal Assistant to the Commissioner of the Department of Local Government and is
serving in Frankfort. Plummer has two offices, one with the Department of Local Government
and the other with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.
The superintendent told the board that the office has been getting a lot of complaints
about the tree over the lines near Central Elementary, but those are not power lines. They
are telephone lines, and the utility company cannot do anything about them because they
are Alltel's lines.
At this month's city council meeting on March 1 Mayor William T. "Bill Tom"
Cooper referred to that problem and told the council that he had contacted Alltel on more
than one occasion but so far nothing has been done about the situation.
Kennedy also announced that Rural Development has had some folk in the area
interviewing residents about the just completed Southern Lewis County Water Project and
asking them how they feel about the project. The results have been positive and will be in
a news article that will probably make the department's national magazine.
The superintendent informed the board that personnel are in the area doing preventive
maintenance on all the wells. They have reported that all the wells are doing fine except
number three, and that will be straightened out.
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School Board meets
|By Al Owens
The Lewis County Board of Education
held one of its shortest sessions ever last week. The meeting lasted only nine minutes.
Superintendent Maurice Reeder Jr., said that he thought it would be a good time to hold
a brief meeting since it had been postponed from Monday night, and the staff was involved
in other matters.
Reeder began by praising the Lewis County Boys Basketball team for reaching the
regional tournament and also lauded the Academic Team for its performance in the
Governor's Cup competition this year.
He said that he was proud of the basketball team not only for having a winning record
but for the character they displayed on the floor as well.
Reeder also commended the coaching staff and said that the men had conducted themselves
in a professional manner all season long.
The board approved the first reading of the 2004-05 Code of Conduct. Reeder told the
board that it had only minor changes from last year.
The board also approved a leave of absence for a bus driver. She has developed some
health problems and requested the leave of absence for the rest of the year.
The board approved the following field trips: Foster
Meade CTC HOSA, state HOSA competition, Louisville (overnight); Central Elementary (Ginn,
Underwood, Thomas, Gullett, Wright and Gatherwright's classes), Kings Island, Cincinnati,
Ohio; Central Elementary (Dunaway, Lodge, Hampton and Kelly), Shawnee Planetarium,
Portsmouth, Ohio; Central Elementary (first grade teachers), Shawnee State University,
Portsmouth; Central Elementary (Dunaway, Lodge, Hampton and Kelly), Zoo, Cincinnati; Lewis
County High Art Classes, Cincinnati Museum, Cincinnati; Tollesboro Elementary Preschool,
Shawnee State University, Portsmouth; Central Elementary (Gayheart and Prater), Vern Riffe
Center, Portsmouth; Central Elementary (Gayheart and Prater), Newport Aquarium, Newport;
Central Elementary, (Stone and Kennedy), Clark Planetarium, Portsmouth; Lewis County High
Senior Class, Kings Island, Mason, Ohio; Tollesboro Elementary (Adams, Howerton, Breeze,
Kegley, Lashbrooke and Hord), Zoo, Cincinnati; Lewis County High JROTC, summer camp
(overnight), Greenville; Vanceburg Head Start, Aquarium, Newport; Central Elementary
(Caplinger and Potter), Shawnee State University, Portsmouth; Lewis County High PULSAR
club, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
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Two hurt in accident
|The Lewis County Sheriff's Department is
investigating a single vehicle accident Friday that injured two Cincinnati residents.
Dwayne Stone said the accident happened about 4:00 p.m. Friday on the Grayson Spur of the
AA Highway about two miles from the Lewis-Carter County line.
Stone said a 2001 Jeep, operated by Ashlee Randall, 20, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was
traveling north on the highway when the wind reportedly caught the vehicle, causing
Randall to lose control.
Stone said the vehicle went left of center and Randall apparently over-corrected. He
said the vehicle traveled some 324 feet, clipped three of four times, struck a guardrail,
traveled an additional 42 feet, over an embankment, slipped two or three more times, and
came to rest at the foot of a hill.
Stone said a passenger, Rachel Spears, 18, of Cincinnati, was thrown from the vehicle.
She was airlifted from the scene by Life Flight, and Randall was taken to Southern Ohio
Medical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Dwayne Stone/Lewis County SO
This 2001 Jeep was badly damaged as the result of an
accident Friday on the Grayson Spur of the AA Highway. The driver and a passenger were
injured in the accident.
Stone was assisted at the scene by Deputies Mark Snedegar and Johnny Bivens,
Garrison and Vanceburg Fire and Rescue, Portsmouth Ambulance and Carter County EMS.
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