In Mar. 27-Apr. 2 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - The magistrates of the Russell County Fiscal Court approved the application for a $2 million grant from the state for a new expansion project at BRUSS North America.
Mark Givens with the Lake Cumberland Area Development District told the court that by applying with the city of Russell Springs they could secure a larger Community Development Block Grant for the project.
He spoke to the Russell County Fiscal Court when they reconvened in regular session Tuesday of this week, after recessing last week.
Givens said that money plus the $4.5 million BRUSS was bringing to the table would provide funding to implement another expansion at the plant.
Robert McComb, president of North American operations for BRUSS, said the addition was needed to supply Chrysler's newest engine design with needed gaskets.
He said it would mean at least 150 new jobs at the plant, At least 77 of those new jobs, McComb said, would go to low or moderate income people living in the county.
In a letter supporting the grant application he said the expansion was contingent on getting the grant funding.
Gene Royalty with the industrial development authority and Russell Springs Mayor Hollis DeHart also spoke in favor of the grant proposal. McComb, in answer to a magistrate's question, said the new jobs would pay between $8.25 and $15 per hour and that the plant's average hourly wage at present is $9.80 per hour.
Before the necessary action by the court there had been a public meeting, which was attended by only the media and those concerned involved in the grant proposal.
As the court meeting returned from the recess Mickey Garner took issue with last week's editorial in the Times Journal. He waved a packet of papers before this newspaper's editor and contended that they prove everyone was notified of the meeting.
In this paper's editorial one of the local radio station's statement that they were not notified properly of that special meeting was related to the public.
Garner did not address the central issue in the article, which was that the court was plainly discussing county business amongst themselves before the start of the last meeting.
After venting, the county judge-executive went on to the county's business and asked the court to approve a part-time worker for his office.
He told the magistrates that one of his staff is pregnant and will be taking time off to have the child so a replacement will have to come in before that for training and remain on the job until the full-time staff member can return.
Magistrate Gary Robertson asked if the judge planned to advertise for the position and take applications.
Magistrate Steve Bledsoe said he didn't think that was necessary. Garner said, "Its up to me who I hire."
The court approved his hiring whoever he wanted without stipulating a pay scale.
With Garner's assertion that the county has in excess of $400,000 to carry it through the end of June the magistrates voted to pay $20,000 toward the purchase of emergency sirens.
That cash payment will leave the county financing about $160,000 for the 12 sirens, according to Garner.
Garner also told the magistrates that, based on a recent auction, the county could expect to be out as much as $15,000 plus a year's payments for a dump truck the county only got 5,000 miles of use with.
The Mack Truck had been leased to the county for a year, with the provision that the county auction it off at the end of that year with the proceeds being applied against the remaining balance due.
In years past, the auction price had been closer than the amount due. Garner indicated that the first auction of the year had much lower prices than in years past.
Magistrate Greg Popplewell suggested that it would have been less costly to have purchased a smaller dump truck this year, and suggested that may be the course the county pursues in the future.
The court approved budget issues regarding the Property Valuation office for next year and the library for this year as well as other transfers.
As the final issue, Garner provided the court with copies of a Kentucky law he said requires cities to either provide a dog warden or partner with the county in providing a dog warden to supply animal control services for the cities.
He told the magistrates that the cities have not been paying the county and said Columbia pays Adair County $500 a month.
Neither motions nor votes were proposed on this issue.
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.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629