In Aug. 13 IssueBy Greg WellsTimes Journal Managing Editor
After prolonged discussion, of topics like whether staff at the county road department would actually turn in a fellow worker they believed was taking drugs, the fiscal court members voted 5-1 to institute drug testing for all county employees.
Bill Ramage, with Premier Drug Testing, explained to the Kentucky Drug-free Workplace program to the court.
Ramage explained that the local company would be donating the required drug policy as well as the first year of training for staff and supervisors and giving a discount on the testing procedures, all to help the county institute the program and thereby receive a discount on workers compensation insurance.
Magistrate Gary Robertson seconded the motion by Greg Popplewell that the program should begin, and proceed once the anticipated discount is assured.
Magistrate Jimmy McQueary was the only vote in opposition to the program.
After the meeting Robertson said he had been involved in a similar program while working for the state, and he'd seen its effectiveness as a deterrent to drug use.
The new policy would randomly test 10 percent of county employees for a wide range of illegal and legal drugs.
Ramage explained that the program was expanded to include prescription drugs years ago because of Kentucky's status as the number-one state for prescription drug abuse.
The Monday night meeting began with the announcement of an additional grant for the county's recycling program.
H.M. Bottom told the court that the county would have to match 25 percent of the 102,000 grant, and some of that would have to be in the form of cash outlay, since not all would be through in-kind contribution as with the other grants.
Previously the county had been awarded grant money for new recyclables collection trailers. This grant for a cardboard-bailer had been denied at that time.
Bottom said once state officials came to the center and saw the volume of recycling that was passing through the center they reconsidered the grant request.
"I believe they thought we were exaggerating the numbers," Bottom said of the state officials.
The court approved selection of bids and purchase of the new equipment, as well as the budget amendment for the expenditure.
The court also approved transfer of $100,000 to the jail fund, for operations, and approved changing the court's regular meeting to noon.
County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner said the change to mid-day meetings was necessary to accommodate the evening meetings for construction of the jail and judicial center.
Voting in opposition was Popplewell, who works at Wolf Creek Dam during the day and would not be able to attend the noon meetings.
In other actions-
Mary Marshal replaced Jenny Jones Marshal on the library board
Glen McCormick was reappointed to the county tax board.
Bobby Conner was moved from part-time to full-time as a county road employee
Of the $160,404 in secondary road funds passed through to the county $66,000 was ear-marked for Dickerson Ridge Road and the rest is to be divided among the precincts based on road miles.