In Feb. 12 IssueBy Greg WellsTimes Journal Managing Editor
The Russell County Fiscal Court received $40,000 in fees from the Sheriff's Department and another $85,000 from the County Clerk's Office at the Monday night meeting.
They also received a presentation from Bill Jasper of the Lake Cumberland Association. Jasper described the tourism and therefore financial impact the event the planned races could have on the county.
"I believe in its second year it could eclipse the poker run," Jasper said.
He explained that the event is in the final stages of approval and is slated for the weekend before Memorial Weekend.
Jasper said it will be broadcast on Fox Sports and possibly on a planned CMT reality show.
The court took up the bids for a building to house the new mobile morgue, but delayed a decision until the low bid could be verified and a lease was drawn up for the proposed location.
The property proposed for the building site is owned by the rescue squad, not the county, and deed or a long-term lease would be needed before anything could be built, according to the county attorney.
By far, the bulk of the meeting was taken up with maters related to a new county jail.
Doug Gooch presented information on the property that the City of Russell Springs has made available for the proposed jail.
He said the paperwork necessary to file for a deed to the property could be ready by the end of the week, and described his success in locating the footprint of the proposed building on the site.
He said 7.53 acre property backs up to the property owned by BRUSS North America and is beyond the tree line past the Russell County Senior Citizens Center.
"It is hidden in the trees. It is really a find," Gooch said. "It is a good spot for a jail."
He told the court that the building site would be in an area that would have to be "cut" and that dirt would be used as fill in other areas of the site. He estimated the cost of the "dirt work," or site preparation as about $40,000.
Architect Harold Fletcher then told the court that the construction cost of the proposed 80-bed jail would be less than $4 million. He estimated the operational costs at $848,00 and income from the state at somewhere around $400,000.
County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner pointed out that the present jail would be available for an additional 20 to 35 state prisoners. He did not quote any figures for the cost of modifying the jail to accommodate those class-d felons, not the cost of staffing that facility.
Magistrates Greg Popplewell and Steve Bledsoe expressed concerns that they need more input and assurances regarding how much construction would cost and how much they could count on in state payments.
Eventually Garner made a motion to move forward with advertising for bids for the site preparation work in anticipation of building a jail.
Popplewell and Bledsoe were the only ones voting against the motion, which passed.
The court also passed the proposed budget for the County Coroner, which Larry Skaggs said was about $400 higher than the previous year to accommodate the rise in the consumer price index. They also approved applying the cost of living increase approved at the last meeting of the court to the jailer's pay.
A split vote was decided by Garner after Popplewell mad a motion to deny all jail overtime except in the case of emergency after the start of the new fiscal year.
Jailer Darrell McQueary said he has hired three new part time deputies in an effort to end the overtime.
Voting against that measure were Bledsoe and Jimmy McQueary.