In July 14 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
Judge-Executive Gary Robertson introduced his proposal for an enhanced 911 organizational restructure at Monday's regular meeting of the fiscal court. The current one-year agreement with the ambulance service, Russell Springs and Jamestown ends October 15 and Monday's proposal was the first by any entity as the fall deadline looms.
Robertson said the objective of his proposed restructure is to configure the Russell County Enhanced 911 Operations to become a more streamlined and effective department by gaining more daily oversight, lowering operating costs and keeping the operations in Russell County.
"By shifting the day to day operational command back to the Russell County Judge's Office all three goals will be met," Robertson said. He continued that the restructuring will be shaped by three major moves: day to day operations will go back to the judge's office, a board of directors will be established with oversight of the Enhanced 911 Operations and the Link board will be shifted back to only supervising and advising on the 911/Link system.
Under this proposal, the enhanced 911 organization will still be commanded by a supervising director who would be hired by the board of directors and will then report to the judge or their designee. The proposal also reads that the Enhanced 911 Board of Directors would be made up of the judge-executive and both city mayors, who would be non-voting members, the deputy judge-executive, one magistrate and the local emergency management director. The Link board would be comprised of the county attorney, the sheriff, both city police chiefs and one magistrate.
Robertson said the plan would only be successful if all current entities continue to contribute $25,000 per year with the fiscal court picking up the remaining amount of money to go along with CMRS funding.
Robertson cited KRS 67.715 concerning reorganization powers when discussing his proposal. The proposal will be presented to the ambulance board and city councils from both Russell Springs and Jamestown at their July meetings to see their take on the issue.
If no agreement is made before October 15th, the county may have to resort to out-of-county solutions for providing enhanced 911 services, Robertson said.
In other happenings at the meeting:
o County Re-apportionment board member Jack Wayne Stephens and County Clerk Lisha Popplewell presented the court with maps outlining the proposed changes in the county's magisterial districts based on 2010 census data.
Popplewell said the magisterial districts cannot vary more than 10 percent in population. The latest census data shows that District 1 is the largest in population and resulted in the largest change of any boundary. Magistrate Jimmy McQueary's 4th magisterial district is the lone district that did not change.
The maps outlining the changes in districts can now be viewed by the public in the Russell County Courthouse and will remain posted for a 20-day period before final action can be taken.
County leaders voted 3-1 to match a $5,000 state grant received by the county's conservation district for the removal and disposal of dead farm livestock like cattle, horses, goats and pigs.
Scott Grider, a member of the local conservation board, requested the matching funding and told the court that 110 local farmers used the service last year and that 225 dead animals have been removed so far this year.
The program allows for the removal and disposal of five animals per farm, per year, according to Grider.
He said in all, the conservation district brought in more than $570,000 in grants last year alone.
Norma Pellerin, the director of the Russell County Public Library, told the court about plans for building a new main library on the corner of Esto Rd. and US 127 in Jamestown.
At this point, Pellerin said the library board hasn't gone any further than preliminary approval of floor plans and the survey of the property. The proposed new library would be 15,500 sq. ft. library, according to Pellerin, and the library board is currently exploring funding options for the building.
She added that the board did not want to raise taxes to build the new facility and that the board had assured her that even if a new main library is built in Jamestown the Russell Springs branch on Main St. would remain open.
She also said the library recently obtained a grant of about $35,000 to go toward training programs that local folks could use in an attempt to find employment. The program will begin next month at the library in both Jamestown and Russell Springs.
Jailer Bobby Dunbar gave his monthly detention center report, saying the daily population for the month of June was 98 inmates, prisoner reimbursements were $1,875.45, misc. reimbursements $525, medical prescription co-pay $122.19, perdiem $1,358.75 and course cost supplements $2,801.19.
Dunbar said the state check for inmates for the month had not yet been sent from Frankfort but he projected it to be $33,565.14 and the projected telephone reimbursement fee to be around $4,000. When all money is finally in for the month, Dunbar said the total would be around $43,000 for the detention center.
County leaders learned more about the new USDA Feeding America commodity-based program they entered into last month. Robertson said nearly 20 volunteers from local churches showed up to go through training to distribute these items.
Robertson also said Phillip Gaskin, co-owner of Hwy. 80 Auto Auction on N. 127 near Webb's Crossroads, has agreed to let the county use that facility to distribute the commodities.
August 5th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. will be the first day of the commodity program with Robertson saying it was his plan to have the commodity giveaways on the first Friday of the month that follows a full week.
The program, which will be coordinated by Kathy Hammond, Kim Reynolds and Johnna Matney, is an honor-based system where one brings their proof of residence. The court voted last month to approve implementing the commodity program under the conditions that USDA officials deliver the food to the county at 3 cents per pound, not to exceed $225 per month.
The county received a recycling grant of $39,595 last week to help them purchase two new recycling trailers as well as Bobcat skid steer loader.
County leaders supported a resolution to apply for nearly $12,000 in state funding through the community development block grant program. If the county does receive this money it will go toward the repair of Stephens Ridge Rd., a road that was heavily damaged during the May flooding of 2010.
The court transferred allocated funding of $80,000 to the detention center fund and $20,000 to the 911 dispatch fund.
County Attorney Kevin Shearer said he had met with G & G Contracting, Jamie Taylor Masonry, Inc., and Stephen P. Stoltz, the attorney for Jamie Taylor and settled the $35,000 that was discussed at last month's meeting for cleanup during construction of the new jail. There is still $19,000 withholding in the issue, Shearer said.
The court voted to advertise for janitorial bids at the new judicial center.