June 15, 2004, News Headlines.
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Fiscal Court holds workshop
|By Al Owens
The Lewis County
Fiscal Court held an informal workshop in the third floor room of the courthouse on
Monday, June 7, at 9:30 a.m.
The County Judge Executive, magistrates and other local officials met to discuss
upcoming and current challenges facing the county government.
One of the biggest problems remains the paving of roads in the county with a limited
amount of funds. This year each district will be allocated $50,000 for that purpose, and
they all agreed that that isn't enough.
Judge Executive Steve Applegate raised the question of continuing to acquire gasoline
and diesel through the bidding process and buying the fuel in bulk and storing it in tanks
or changing to a system using fleet cards that work much like credit cards at selected
providers in the area. The issue will be researched in the near future with a view to
changing if the fleet card system proves to be more convenient and cost effective.
Road Foreman Dane Howard told the fiscal court what new equipment his department needs
just to get by. He said the county needs a new tractor with a side mount sickle bar mower.
He informed the court that the tractor would cost about $12,500 and the mower around
His department also needs a new one-ton truck with a flat bed and attachments so it can
serve both as a fuel truck and a salt truck. The vehicle could be acquired by state
contract at a cost of $32,000.
Judge Applegate also introduced the subject of an ordinance to prevent campaigning
within 300 feet of the polls. Last year a court struck down the state law prohibiting such
campaigning, but state officials say that each county could pass an ordinance to that
effect. County Attorney Clayton "Buddy" Lykins, Jr. will research the legal
aspects of such an ordinance.
When the subject of either repairing or closing River Hill Road arose, first district
magistrate Milt Stanfield said that an attempt to close that road would probably lead to
an uprising. He explained that when the water is up that is the only exit from the area.
|Stanfield added that an emergency situation
would result in disaster if the persons involved were trapped with no way out or for no
entry for emergency responders. The dangerous road remains a challenge for the future.
group discussed establishing an Economic Development Board and whether to select the board
members by having people volunteer or by court appointment. The board would probably have
five members with one of them selected by Vanceburg Mayor William T. "Bill Tom"
Cooper. The proposed board remains under consideration.
Judge Applegate mentioned repair of the courthouse roof and showed the magistrates two
options, one at a cost of $21,889 and the other at $41,440. The former is for a regular
five vent metal roof and the latter for a standing seam roof.
The court talked about applying for Homeland Security grants in order to purchase
equipment for search and rescue. In the recent search of Crooked Creek after the accident
that claimed the lives of four Lewis County residents other agencies from neighboring
counties arrived to help, and they all had necessary equipment but county agencies had
none. One of the things under consideration if the grant is obtained is the purchase of a
boat for the Sheriff's Department so the deputies could access the Ohio River in times of
Emergency Management Director Carl Chaney said that one of the items most mentioned was
The grants would be for law enforcement and the Emergency Management department.
Fiscal Court Clerk Kathy Dillow asked about employees' selecting comp time or overtime.
The law provides them that choice as long as the time they select after proper notice does
not interrupt the function of the agency for which they work. An amendment in the
personnel policy may be forthcoming to clarify that situation for all concerned.
The court took no action on any of the matters discussed. These issues will be
investigated and may be acted upon in future sessions of the fiscal court.
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City Council gets budget review
|By Al Owens
The regular June session
of the Vanceburg City Council began with Sam Howard representing Trace Creek Construction
Company, Vanceburg, requesting information about the proper procedures and protocol to
annex property owned by the company into the city. The Trace Creek property is adjacent to
Mayor William T. "Bill Tom" Cooper referred the matter to City Attorney E.V.
Holder, Jr., and said that the attorney would get the information to Howard.
Mayor Cooper then made his budgetary address to the city council. He pointed out that
this is the 14th budget he has presented to the council during his tenure as mayor.
Cooper highlighted several items in the budget. All city employees will receive a five
percent cost of living raise in the 2004-05 budget. The mayor told the council that
he has placed $250,000 for the Hotel Preservation Project, $200,000 for the Downtown
Street-Scape Project and $50,000 for the citys matching portion of the Street-Scape
He added that in the General Fund Fire Department he has put $8,500 for the lease
payment for the new fire truck. In the General Fund Street Department $10,000 has been set
aside for paving work, and in the General Fund Community Development program $40,000 has
been ea marked for mapping and zoning to help the city reach the Renaissance Gold Level.
The General Fund has a contingency fund of
$9,764.50 and the Sanitation Fund a contingency fund of $8,414.70.
The budget shows a total of $1,019,052 in the General Fund; $550,000 in the Hydro Fund;
and $122,230 in the Sanitation Fund.
Appropriations for the General Fund show that $162, 128.69 goes to General Government;
$205,712.08 to the Police Department; $31,612.80 to the Fire Department; $38,784.92 for
the streets; and $580,813.51 for Community Development.
City Attorney Holder gave the ordinance establishing the 2004-05 budget its first
The council then heard first reading of an amendment to the nuisance ordinance. The
change deals with the abatement procedure and gives the city authority file a lien against
the property involved for the reasonable value of labor and materials used in remedying
the nuisance situation.
The council adopted a resolution permitting the reception of a $250,000 grant from the
states Renaissance Kentucky Program.
It then approved the re-appointment of Charles Ross to the Electric Plant Board of the
City of Vanceburg.
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Plant Board will have lean budget
|By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last
week the Electric Plant Board heard discouraging news about the economy and how the
Utility Company will be affected.
Superintendent Phil Kennedy told the board that with the increased cost of gasoline and
oil he did not know how things were going to go.
In presenting the 2004-05 budget to the board he said that the budget was lean with
only two highlights apart from routine expenses. He told the board the new budget contains
a three percent cost of living raise for all the employees and funds for one pickup truck.
Otherwise the budget is rather lean.
Kennedy stated that we have a $5.5 million budget and $3 million of that will be used
to purchase energy.
He added that insurance rates are higher and said, "The cost of gasoline is
Kennedy alerted the board that the current contract for electric power expires December
31, 2005, and after that they could look for an increase in electric rates. He said it was
inevitable if the company is to survive.
Regarding natural gas prices he told the board that
those prices could go up or down but at this time no one knows for sure what will happen.
The board may possibly have to raise gas rates in the near future even though he just
purchased 20 million cubit feet of natural gas and stockpiled it. He said that was enough
to last about three months in the winter.
Kennedy informed the board that the tree trimming is in good shape and not much will
have to be done in that regard this year.
He congratulated Charles Ross on his re-appointment to the Electric Plant Board by the
Vanceburg City Council.
The board approved the financial reports and the June invoices and then entered closed
session to discuss pending litigation and personnel. No action was taken on those matters
when the board returned to open session and adjourned.
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Cemetery Board meets
|The Lewis County Cemetery Board composed of
Pauline Applegate, Sharon Lewis, Arthur Applegate, William Talley and Kevin Angel, under
direction of Lewis County Judge Executive Steve Applegate and Melissa Hardy with Buffalo
Trace Area Development District, meet regularly on the second Thursday of each month.
board held its organizational meeting on March 18, 2004. The Lewis County Fiscal Court
passed an ordinance creating a County Cemetery Board within Lewis County at its regular
meeting on October 13, 2003. The board is to adopt rules and regulations concerning
cemeteries that have fallen into neglect and disrepair and support cemetery preservation.
Several applications have been received and the board called a special meeting and visited
a number of the cemeteries.
In the later 1800s these cemeteries would have been easily accessible by horseback,
currently many of them are barely accessed by four-wheeler or mountain climber!
Kevin Angel with the only stone not covered by growth
at the Pell Cemetery.
Pauline Applegate/Lewis County Herald
Pictured are Steve Applegate, Sharon Lewis, Arthur
Applegate, and Kevin Angel at the Fairmont Christian Church cemetery (side of church in
Many of our early ancestors, including civil war veterans are buried there. As funds
permit it is the desire of this board to fence boundaries, repair and clean tombstones,
clear brush, improve access roads, erect signs and do historic research and archiving.
The board visited the Fairmont Christian Church Cemetery, the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery
and the Pell Cemetery on May 18. All are in much need of clearing brush and repairing and
Any organization or individual that might be interested in contributing funds to this
very important project is asked to contact Lewis County Judge Executive Steve Applegate.
This will be an ongoing project with matching funds received through Buffalo Trace
Area Development District.
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