By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Lewis County Fiscal Court heard a request for the hiring of a new county employee.
Vanceburg resident Harvey Denham reminded the court that this year is Lewis County’s two hundredth anniversary. With that in mind he asked, “Don’t you think it’s time we hired someone to promote and market our county?”
Denham continued, “For example, the person might organize volunteers, write grants, plan exhibits, appoint committees, plan celebrations and bring in speakers.”
He said that some money is available through the Kentucky Historical Society Lewis and Clark in Kentucky Grant Program.
In Denham's opinion the future of Lewis County can be greatly affected by the court’s decisions.
County Judge Executive Steve Applegate and Magistrate Todd Ruckel agreed with Denham and indicated that they have been considering the 200-year celebration.
Applegate said that the county already has a Tourism Director.
Denham explained that he was talking about a regular position for the county that would continue after the anniversary so the community could compete with other counties on tourism.
No action was taken on the suggestion but the court indicated it would look into the grant program to see if funding for the position’s salary is available.
Camp Dix Fire Chief David “Pudge” Stafford appeared before the court to inquire about the Fire Departments having to pay a tax on the insurance. He said that he thought the fire departments were exempt from paying taxes since the fire fighters are all volunteers and the departments are non-profit organizations.
Several cell towers are scheduled to be installed along the AA Highway, and the Buffalo Trace Area Development District has offered to provide professional services for the Lewis County Planning Commission to arrange for the installation of those towers. For each tower the Planning Commission will receive $2500 annually. Under the contract the BTADD would receive $500 for their services per tower. The court moved to approve that contract.
In order to fill two vacated positions on the Lewis County Planning Commission the court appointed Judy Craycraft to a term that expires July 31, 2006 and Sandy Cornett to a term that will expire on July 31, 2007.
Stafford explained that his department was struggling to get all the funds it can, and last year the Lewis County Fire Fighters Association paid about $700 in those taxes.
The court authorized Applegate and County Attorney Clayton “Buddy” Lykins, Jr. to look into the matter to see what institutions can be exempted from paying the insurance tax.
The court is concerned about being fair to other non-profit institutions that might also want to claim exemption from that tax.
In rapid fire succession the court approved the annual budgets for several local entities. Actually, the court merely has to record that they have received the annual budgets as required.
The court approved the annual budgets for the following: the Western Lewis-Rectorville Water and Gas District; the Garrison-Quincy Water District; the Black Oak Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) Taxing District; the Camp Dix VFD Taxing District; the Buffalo Trace Area Development District; the Buffalo Trace Rural Housing Authority; and the Garrison VFD Taxing District.
The court also approved the relocation of Fuller Branch Road.
Solid Waster Coordinator John Teager was re-appointed from a part time to a full time position as the Lewis County Solid Waste Coordinator. Teager had worked part time for six months since he had planned to retire but now can continue as a full time employee of the county.
The court approved the annual order setting the maximum amount for the salaries for the deputies and assistants in both the County Clerk’s and Sheriff’s Offices.
Lewis County Treasurer Kathy Dillow reported that from July 1 to December 31 the county’s General Fund had received revenue of $965,538.37 with disbursements of $723,509.82 leaving a balance of $242,928.65. Revenue for the Road Fund totaled $1,436,112.71 with disbursements of $1,274,714.17 leaving a balance of $161,348.54. The Jail Fund received $405,672.45 with disbursements of $397,939.39 with a balance of $7,733.06. The court approved the treasurer’s report.
The court approved all the claims and transfers for the month for the General, Road and Bridge and Jail Fund accounts except a claim made by the J.P. Morgan Company. Dillow told the court that she thinks that a bill for $3929 should have been sent to the Administrative Office of the Courts.
First District Magistrate Milt Stanfield announced that the Board of the Canaan Holiness Church had voted not to permit the use of its fellowship hall as a voting precinct in Burtonville. Stanfield said that the board wanted to avoid getting politics too closely associated with the church.
Judge Applegate told the court that updating the precincts in the Help America Vote Program to accommodate voting for the handicapped would cost the county $19,176.95.
He also announced that Kevin Cornette of the BTADD had notified him that the E-911 addressing is progressing well, and that the program should be up and running by this August.