In Mar. 20-26 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - The bulk of a fiscal court meeting Friday morning, Mar. 14, was devoted to the purchase of emergency sirens for the county.
Emergency Services Director H.M. Bottom and County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner told the members of the court that the county has a unique opportunity because of the sirens being purchased by the state to alert those living below the dam should the dam ever fail.
They explained that the company providing the sirens had agreed to sell the county additional sirens at the same cost as they were charging for all those installed in this and other counties along the Cumberland River.
Bottom said that the sirens would cost the county $20,500 installed and that they had commitments from a number of local businesses and other boards or agencies in the county to purchase the sirens either outright or by paying the county back for the cost over two to four years.
He said that the cities of Jamestown and Russell Springs had also committed to re-working their existing sirens to make them compatible with the new computer controlled system that would be installed to operate them county wide or individually.
Bottom explained that the system would allow them to send out a warning tone should the dam give way, but would also allow for a different tone should a tornado be spotted and yet another for such things as fires hazardous waste spills and other emergencies.
Garner said the county has committed to purchase four and that they had contracts with others to purchase six more and hopes that the school board, which met the following week, would agree to purchase two more.
Bottom said that though that would not be enough to guarantee everyone in the county would hear a siren in the event of an emergency the riverside, the schools, industrial park, both cities and the majority of the most densely populated areas of the county should be able to.
He said the National Weather Service, the county's emergency dispatch center as well as the cities would be able to set off the sirens as needed and they would improve the warning system greatly.
Garner recommended to the court that they approve the 3.75 percent variable rate financing offered by the Kentucky Association of Counties for the purchase of the sirens.
The magistrates agreed to the purchase and to the financing plan. Bottom also addressed the court on the issue of this year's "Spring Dump Day."
He said the $4,400 the county has been authorized through the PRIDE funding will not be enough to cover the cost.
He said the county's waste contractor, Morgan Sanitation has agreed to handle 70 tons of waste free this time rather than the 40 tons they had agreed to in their contract but that the county would have to cover the rest of the cost.
He told the members of the court that the county hasn't had to pay to clean up a single illegal dump in over a year and he attributed that at least in part to the county's free dump days.
"Its incredible how much trash this (program) takes out of the county," said Magistrate Ron Johnson. "We can pay to do this or pay to pick it up off the ground."
The court agreed to fund the project.
In other business before the court
Magistrates approved advertising for bids on the supplies to be used by the county road department in the coming fiscal year. The court accepted the state road fund money, $475,265.
Magistrate Steve Bledsoe questioned some of the bills presented to the court.
Magistrate Gary Robertson broached the subject of an expenditure bill but never authorized. He said they had not voted to place an ad in "the booster program" but that one had been placed and that the court had been billed.
He remarked that it was a request made when the court was expecting to be over $100,000 over budget by the end of the year and suggested that the court approve the ad now.
"We never did vote on it so we'll just add it to the bills now," Garner told the court.
The bills were approved with all voting yes.
A proposal by Matt Gosser, owner of Lake Woods Landscaping, to clean up and landscape the county's welcome signs was approved by the court.
He told the members that there would be no cost to the county and that all he asked was to be allowed to place a sign measuring about 2-feet square noting that his company did the work and maintains the landscaping.
The court also approved spending over $5,000 for equipment to apply gravel to shoulders along county roads. Garner told the court that the equipment would help prevent deterioration of county roads.
The working budget provided to the court for the jail was discussed but no action was taken. The proposal would give deputies a $1 an hour raise. It was noted that it had been at least nine-years since deputies had been given a raise.
A cost of living raise for Jailer Darrell McQueary was also included in the budget proposal but some of the magistrates questioned the accuracy of the figures presented to them since with the raises the labor line item was lower than the previous budget they had and there was also no increase in tax or benefit lines, which are based on wages.
Garner told the court no action was necessary on the budget proposal at present.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629