By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Lewis County Fiscal Court opened the Chip/Seal bids for fiscal year 2006-07. Bids were presented by Gaddis-Shamrock, Inc., Columbia, KY and South Central Construction Company, West Union, OH.
The court accepted Gaddis-Shamrock’s bid for the 12-foot and 14-foot wide roads but tabled the bids on the 16-foot roads because of a $400 difference in those bids. Road Foreman Dane Howard recommended accepting Gaddis-Shamrock’s higher bid based on the company’s previous performance of excellence, but County Attorney Clayton “Buddy” Lykins, Jr. questioned the legality of accepting the higher bid. The court tabled those bids until they can be reviewed. According to Lykins a higher bid can be accepted if a good reason can be shown for doing so.
The court approved the opening of two new bank accounts for the county. Both are required by law. One is for the E-911 Operating Funds and the other is for Illegal Dumpsite Operating Funds.
In relation to that action the court approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the current budget to show unbudgeted receipts of $42,765.30 for the Illegal Dumpsite Operating funds.
County Treasurer Kathy Dillow explained that the state had approved the cleaning of 10 illegal sites, and seven of them have already been cleaned up. For those seven the county will be reimbursed.
In passing, County Judge Steve Applegate commended Lewis County Solid Waste Coordinator John Teager and said that he has been recognized as one of the best in the state.
The court approved the first reading of another budget amendment to show unbudgeted receipts of $302,656 for the E-911 Operating Funds.
Amy Kennedy appeared before the court representing the Buffalo Trace Area Development District. She asked the court to adopt a resolution making the court the applicant agent for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development not to exceed one million dollars.
Kennedy told the court that the BTADD is entertaining a prospective client to occupy the Spec Building at the Industrial Park at Black Oak. The grant will fund the development of the interior of the structure.
She explained that the 48,750 square foot building was constructed without any interior so it could be finished to suit the needs of any prospective client.
The court adopted the resolution, and then Kennedy announced that a public hearing regarding the project would be held in the courtroom on Thursday, August 2,4 at 4:00 p.m. She said that the identity of the client could not yet be revealed due to BTADD regulations.
After a brief discussion the court moved to begin the procedures for adopting a portion of Evans Lane into the county road program. Road Foreman Dane Howard will inspect the road to see if it meets the county’s requirements and then make a recommendation to the court at the next regular session.
At the request of Lewis County Emergency Management Director Carl Chaney the court moved to add a HAZ-MAT truck and trailer with about $80,000 worth of Haz-Mat equipment on it to the county’s property and liability insurance. The diesel powered Ford security vehicle was donated to the county by the state.
The court approved the annual installment of the financial support for the Lewis County Conservation District of $7,500.
With the upcoming initiation of E-911 the court approved the Lewis County road changes that affect the county maintained roads. The changes don’t affect the roads physically but has to do with the addressing of the roads for E-911.
The court also approved the annual parking lot lease agreement with Farmer’s Cooperative Insurance Company at a cost of $1,200 for the whole year.
The court tabled the opening of the bids for the prospective new animal shelter. Trace Creek Construction Company and Wilburn Enterprises presented bids, but both exceeded the amount of the grant of $68,500 issued to construct the shelter.
Without going into details the court approved the recommendation of the E-911 interviewing committee for the hiring of one full time E-911 dispatcher and four part time dispatchers.
The court received only one bid for the Rock Run bridge project. That bid from E&E Construction Company, Vanceburg was for $23,700 and was approved.
Applegate announced that the Environmental Protection Cabinet has reported that Lewis County is in compliance with their regulations.
Treasurer Kathy Dillow told the court that the receipts for the county to date total $188,068.45. Her report was approved along with all the claims and transfers for the General, Road and Bridge and Jail Fund Accounts.
Eugene Kinney, Democratic candidate for the office of County Judge Executive in the upcoming election, appeared before the court to ask why people can’t get hold of dog warden Billy Bowles.
Applegate defended Bowles by explaining that he is only part time and that he does pick up a lot of dogs. He said that the record of dogs transferred to the Bracken County Animal Shelter reveals that.
Applegate said that like any other dog warden often when Bowles gets a call about a stray dog and arrives on the scene the dog has already left the area. He also alleged that Bowles uses his answering machine and returns all his calls as soon as possible.
Kinney responded by saying that if the man is only part time then he needs some help or needs to be made full time.
Applegate told the court that he is concerned about the costs of fuel, insurance and utilities. He said those expenses have gone through the roof. He also lamented that the sheriff’s department is going to have a problem with fuel costs by the first of the year.
Before adjourning Applegate announced that the next regular session of fiscal court will be conducted on Monday, September 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the third floor courtroom in the County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public.