In Aug. 12 Issue
The bulk of the discussion at the Monday night Fiscal Court meeting considered cleanup of the courthouse.
Phillip Weston suggested it was his lack of support for County Judge Executive Mickey Garner's failed re-election campaign that had resulted in the layoff of the part time worker who assisted Weston with caring for the floors of the courthouse.
Weston said the part-time helper was needed to assist him with stripping waxing and buffing the floors of the three story courthouse.
Garner said it would be less expensive to hire a fulltime janitor than to pay Weston, as well as three part-time workers to care for the courthouse.
Kathy Weston, Phillip's wife, suggested Garner's figures were a misrepresentation, since they left off the cost of insurance, retirement and other benefits the county would have to pay for a fulltime worker.
After questioning that followed the political fault lines on the court it was a 3-3 vote to approve re-hiring the part-time worker.
Ronald Johnson and Jimmy McQueary voted with Garner in opposition to the helper's re-hiring.
Approved was a $1,250 expenditure, as a 50 percent match for educational funding from the PRIDE program.
Solid Waste Coordinator H.M. Bottom told the court that the group provided over $130,000 in grants for waste cleanup and recycling to the county last year and the program is one requested by the group.
On Garner's motion, the court approved a $500 donation to the Lake Cumberland Cleanup program, in addition to the renewal of its traditional donation of a dumpster, loader, and operator for the day-long cleanup.
The bid prices submitted for replacement of bridges on Blankenship and Cabin Creek roads were higher than the funds available, and the court ordered bids to be requested for the repairs to the bridge on Blankenship, which was already permitted, according to Garner.
The court was told that the cost to move Russell County Emergency 911 Dispatch Services to the Kentucky State Police Post in Columbia would be $93,000 to $95,000 as a one-time fee and $132,000 a year.
Garner said the second figure was projected to increase by 3 percent a year, with the post also receiving all of the county's share of fees assessed statewide on cell phones.
It was stressed that if the cities are not willing to share the cost of dispatch with the county, the court members have said they will put dispatch in the hands of the state police, as the lower cost option.
Despite the reported fall in property tax values, the court approved retaining the same tax rates, across the board.