By James Anderson, Powell County Judge Executive
The regular meeting of the Powell County Fiscal was held Tuesday, Sept. 10 with all members of the court being present. The fifteen items on the agenda were discussed in just over an hours’ time.
Opening up the business portion there were three items that fell under old business. The first of the three was a couple updates on the new animal shelter. Last meeting there had been some discussion of some equipment needed and modifications made to address some things the architect had overlooked. Most of these issues were in relation to the lack of exhaust fans and air flow. The court was made aware the installation of new exhaust fans are nearly complete and looked as if they were going to adequately address the problems.
The second update in regards to the new animal shelter was an update on the efforts between Friends of Powell County Pets and the Powell Fiscal Court in reaching an agreement on a new management model for the new shelter. We are looking into the possibility of having this group be able to manage the shelter itself which should allow our animal control officer to have more time to dedicate to enforcing our animal ordinances. Currently he has to devote much of his time to the daily responsibilities that come with the shelter which limits the time he can dedicate to his other duties. This agreement should also allow the public much more access to the shelter by adding additional staffing which will be at no additional cost to the county as it will be handled by F.O.P.C.P. , and should also allow for higher numbers of our animals to be placed into caring homes. If we are successful in reaching this agreement it should be a positive for every person and animal and involved.
The county road issue with United States Forest Service was revisited as well. This was done in order to bring the court up on some additional findings that support our case. This information is in the form of a publication of Kentucky Road Surveys that was done as required by congress. This book both in language and maps further prove the roads the USFS disregard as county roads were and are Powell County Roads. Another thing that this books shows is that evidently our USFS ranger district not only has no regard for local or state laws but also chooses to ignore federal authority as well. In light of all the information provided and in looking at ways to rectify the wrongs inflicted on us by USFS I shared with the magistrates a copy of KRS 178.115. I asked them to read over as I may potentially ask for a vote in the next month or so to pass a resolution to reopen some of the roads closed by the USFS.
The final subject to come up in old business was discussion on what steps we still needed to take to wrap up the redistricting matter. Most of this work had been completed in the first two thirds of 2011 and had then been hold and until the State had something finalized. Now that that’s been completed we are able to complete our process. There was some discussion on what all had been completed and what still needed done. We hope to have everything finalized in next few weeks.
To open up the new business portion I read a proclamation proclaiming Sept. 17-23, 2013 as Constitution Week in order to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787. I think this is also an appropriate time to thank and remember all of our service men and women who have since served to protect us and our constitution. I would also ask that each of us remember our leaders and U.S.A. in their prayers daily and to thank God for the blessing of living in such a wonderful country.
Next, Coroner Hondo Hearne came before the court to present the Powell County Mass Fatality incident Plan. This is a plan that lays out what and how we would handle a mass casualty incident within our boundaries. We hope this is something we will never have to deal with but feel confident that with Mr. Hearne and this plan, we would be able to handle it. This plan was voted on and accepted by the court.
An additional part time employee was the next item addressed. Last month I had made the court aware of the increased need for some additional staffing at transfer station as recycling had increased significantly and would continue to do so as we work to convert the old animal shelter into a recycling center that will enable us to take many more items. The court voted to approve this part time employee. The excess in recycling receipts has allowed us to add this employee at no additional expense to the tax payers.
The next four items pertained to resolutions and agreements allowing me to handle paper work that will be coming through to provide funding for projects. These projects will be for road work, additional projects in the Nada area to renovate homes and one to upgrade our radio tower equipment that is near thirty years old.
The court also had two more tax rates at this meeting. The first was the acknowledgement of receipt of the Powell County Health Department. Next the court voted to accept the compensating rate for the county tax rate which will be 10.1.
To close out the meeting the court acknowledged the Powell County Tourism Board’s audit and voted to approve Ambulance Director Brinton Epperson’s employee changes.
I would like to again thank each of you for taking the time to keep up with what’s going on with your local government and encourage anyone who has questions, concerns or ideas to feel welcome to contact me at any time.