In Apr. 17-23 issue By Greg Wells Times Journal Managing Editor
JAMESTOWN - Russell County Jailer Darrell McQueary made his displeasure known as he left the courtroom when a dollar-an-hour raise motion for his deputies went without a second from the members of the Russell County Fiscal Court.
"Forget I even asked for a raise if none of you are going to second it," McQueary said as he turned his back on the court. "I'll just go ahead and work them for what I have been."
The conversation started when Judge-Executive Mickey Garner had relayed to the court what the benefits and tax costs of the raise for the seven full-time employees would be. According to the county's payroll officer, he said, those costs would be about $18,000 more in the next fiscal year which begins July 1.
At the last meeting of the court magistrates had asked what those ancillary costs would be before they would consider the approximately $15,000 increase in labor costs.
Magistrate Ronald Johnson said the workers had not received a raise in over five years and they currently make less than $8 an hour and he made a the motion to approve the raise as part of next year's budget.
Tempers were near the surface as well when several residents of West-Wilson Road and Old Dunbar Road brought the court their concerns over the condition of their roads.
Jerry Devore said that where his road crosses a stream there is a one- to two-foot ledge he must cross after a heavy rain. He added that potholes and ruts are prevalent along the length of the gravel road.
The roads, located between Bernard Ridge and McClendon Ridge, are prone to problems because they are narrow with fences at the edge of the road and the road surface is very close to the underlying rock, said Johnson, that precinct's magistrate.
Devore and Nick Popplewell said repeatedly they felt the roads are often enough in impassable condition that they fear what would happen if emergency vehicles were called to one of their houses.
"What if," Devore said, "God forbid, someone had a heart attack and an ambulance couldn't get down that road."
Garner and Johnson stressed that there was nothing that could be done within the county's budget other than continue to repair the roads after storms wash them out.
When Devore took issue with the quality of the most recent repair work, County Road Foremen Jackie Mann said, "You can't grade mud!"
Popplewell told the court he has a plan he believes would permanently fix some of the problem areas for $3,500, rather than the $40,000 to $50,000 quoted previously for a re-working of the road.
Garner told Popplewell to draw up his plans and share bring them to him or to Johnson and they would check with the county attorney about any legal or liability issues.
The discourse was more restrained when the topic of stray dog control for the cities was addressed.
Garner said he had a meeting with the two cities mayors explaining that the county, by law, could contract with those cities to provide animal control services or they could hire their own dog warden.
He said he had proposed Russell Springs and Jamestown contribute $500 per month toward the county dog warden's salary and the costs of maintaining an animal shelter.
Garner said the county pays nearly $28,000 a year to help operate and maintain an animal shelter through an agreement with Adair County and pays all of the dog wardens' salary at present. He said that was about $18,000 a year.
The court gave Garner the go-ahead to draft a letter to the cities asking for their answer by the first of June.
The court approved some additional expenditures. The county contributed $2,500 to help fund television commercials promoting Lake Cumberland.
John Carter, who introduced himself to the court as the Russell County Tourism Director, said that nine marinas had gotten together to form the Lake Cumberland Association.
Carter said the county's money will join about $55,000 contributed by the marinas.
The television advertising is to be targeted for Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, Carter told the magistrates.
Voting against the proposal were Steve Bledsoe and Jimmy McQueary. The vote was unanimous for a contribution of $500 to the Russell County High School Youth Services Center's "after prom" event as well as for $250 to assist the Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency's golf tournament for senior citizens food programs.
They turned down a request to pave the road to the three-county animal shelter. The court suggested that there was no agreement committing them to that and suggesting the project be a chip and seal road.
"We've got citizens living on dirt roads," McQueary said. "I'm not in favor of paving a road in Adair County.
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