By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Lewis County Fiscal Court heard from two local residents.
Don Thayer and Rick and Rosie Blankenship appeared before the court to ask why they have been refused a permit to haul trash in the county.
County Judge Executive Steve Applegate told them it is because the county has an ordinance that limits the number of haulers to seven in the county. He explained that the ordinance had been adopted before he came into office, but the purpose was to keep the number of haulers down so they could make a living. Too many haulers create a situation where none of them have enough customers for the businesses to survive.
Thayer and the Blankenships threatened to file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the ordinance.
The court tabled the issue until next month's session in order to give the matter more consideration.
Eugene Kinney appeared before the court to ask about the insurance tax on the local fire departments. He said the departments are non-profit entities run by volunteers and should not be taxed because they have difficulty operating on limited funds.
Lewis County Jailer Tim Underwood announced that supervisory training for the inmate work program will be held at the end of the month and again in July. He told the court that some of the county deputies have been certified to conduct the training sessions here locally.
In his monthly Commissary Financial Report he explained that the Commissary Fund is up to about $8,000, and the jail needs a good, used pickup truck to use in the work program. The court moved to authorize that purchase pending approval by the state.
The court also approved the Policy and Procedural Manual for the Lewis County Detention Center. It has not changed since last year but needs to be approved annually by the court.
The court approved the second reading of the annual 2006-2007 budget. The budget this year totals $7,456,108.
The court accepted the low bid of $15,900 from the Southeastern Equipment Company for a 20-ton tag trailer. It also accepted the bid of $44,950 from Lesley Equipment for a 35- to 50-ton equipment trailer. The latter trailer will be used to haul the grader around the county. Applegate explained that hauling the grader would be more cost effective than driving the grader to work locations across the county.
At the request of PVA Betty Ripato the court approved the purchase of a new printer at a total cost of $2,545.52.
Jeff Burchett and Kim Greenhill from the Sherman Kricker Insurance agency, Chillicothe, Ohio, presented a voluntary life insurance proposal for county employees. The policy would be through the Cincinnati Life Insurance Company.
Burchett explained that the policy has two particular advantages. It has a guarantee issue and can be taken with the employees when they leave employment.
Applegate said he would notify the county employees to see if they are interested and then get back with the representatives.
Ron LeMaster presented a renewal package for worker's compensation insurance. He said that the $68,200 premium is a $10,537 savings over last year's premium. The court accepted his proposal.
With a long agenda before them the members of the court rapidly took care of several matters of business.
The court approved the annual Rowan County Detention Facility Adult Housing Agreement.
The annual $500 donation to the Garrison Fire Department for the July Fourth fireworks was approved.
The court approved the following appointments:
*Lena Wamsley-Fugate to the Lewis County Board of Trustees, her term expiring on July 31, 2009.
*Dora Thomas as Chairperson to the Lewis County Sanitation District #1, her term to expire June 30, 2009.
*Jeanette Applegate as Treasurer to the Lewis County Sanitation District #1, her term expiring June 30, 2009.
*Sue J. Bane as Secretary to the Lewis County Sanitation District # 1, her term to expire June 30, 2009.
The court does not have to approve the budgets of the local fire tax districts but is required to approve the receipt of the budgets. The court approved receipt of the following:
*Receipt of the Garrison VFD Taxing District 2006-2007 annual budget.
*Receipt of the Camp Dix VFD Taxing District 2006-2007 annual budget.
*Receipt of the Firebrick VFD Taxing District 2006-2007 annual budget.
*Receipt of the Tollesboro VFD Taxing District 2006-2007 annual budget.
The court also approved receipt of the Lewis County Sanitation #1 Taxing District 2006-2007 annual budget.
The court approved a contribution of $69 per month to the Lend-A-Helping-Hand program for portable outside restroom facilities.
The court entered a closed session to discuss litigation and the proposed purchase of real estate. No action was taken in the closed session. However, upon returning to open session the court moved to settle a lawsuit brought in Chicago regarding the purchase of deputy sheriffs' vehicles made during the administration of a sheriff previous to Bill Lewis taking office. In order to avoid the cost of traveling numerous times to Chicago and the expense of litigation the court moved to settle the suit at a cost of $5,000. Originally the suit was for about $50,000.
The court took several actions preparing for the installation and operation of Enhanced 911 (E-911) in the county.
The court moved to advertise for four full-time and four part-time E-911 dispatchers.
It also moved to have a Fair Market Appraisal on the prospective E-911 dispatch center property at the old Citizens Deposit Bank & Trust Court Street building in Vanceburg.
The court approved an administrative contract for E-911 with the Buffalo Trace Area Development District (BTADD) at a cost not to exceed $24,000.
Kevin Cornett from BTADD told the court the equipment is scheduled to be delivered on August 7. The Homeland Security deadline for the equipment to be installed and in operation is December 30. Plans call for the program to be installed and fully operational by January 1, 2007. For that to happen a system administrator must be in place. The court has the option of hiring and training an administrator with all the costs involved or to enter the contract with BTADD.
Cornett explained that the Lewis County E-911 would be the state-of-the-art setup for the district. Fees from E-911 will pay the cost of the contract agreement.
The court approved the first reading of an ordinance establishing an E-911 Telephone Service for Lewis County.
And finally, regarding E-911, the court approved an agreement between Lewis County and Buffalo Trace ADD giving ownership of the equipment to the county.
The court approved employee reclassification for four county workers as follows:
*Greg Stone was reclassified from operator 1 pay scale to truck driver scale as requested by the employee.
*David Goodwin was reclassified from part-time to full-time truck driver pay scale.
*Ryan Dillow was reclassified from part-time to seasonal operator 1 pay scale.
*John Blevins was reclassified from full-time to part-time.
The court approved the waiving of a six-month probation period for individuals transferring from any county employees' retirement system to another. Court Clerk Kathy Dillow explained that a person moving from the sanitation department to the road department would not have to go through the probation period, and that would mean a financial savings to the county.
The court moved to re-advertise for bids for the Lewis County Animal Shelter Project.
It also moved to advertise for bids for black top and chip and seal for the 2006-2007 fiscal year.
The court approved the advertising of bids for the gas and oil contract for the current fiscal year.
A $300 donation to the Lewis County/Vanceburg July 200th anniversary celebration was approved.
The court approved the annual 2006-2007 recycling agreement with Mason County.
The court adopted a resolution approving the grant application for the Illegal Dump Grant Disbursement Program. The grant totals $42,765.30.
The court adopted a resolution approving its annual entrance into the Kentucky Advance Revenue Program (KARP) for the General and Road funds. In this program money is borrowed and invested. The borrowed money is returned but the county gets to keep the interest earned from the investments.
The court approved the claims and transfers for the General, Road and Bridge and Jail fund accounts.
Applegate announced that the next regular session of the fiscal court would be conducted in the third floor courtroom of the Lewis County Courthouse on Monday, July 10 at 9:30 a.m.
The current meeting was not adjourned but recessed until Thursday, June 29 at 9:30 a.m.