August 18, 2009,
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Tollesboro intersection to receive
traffic signal - Magistrates hear E-911 updates
- Schools preparing for what may be a bad flu season - 107th
School Fair opens Tuesday - $1.6
million awarded for Garrison Sewer Project
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Ky. Rt. 8
may be closed several weeks
By Dennis Brown
Kentucky’s Secretary of Transportation Joe
Prather made a promise last week to get a traffic signal located at a deadly
intersection on the AA Highway at Tollesboro.
“I think that I can safely commit to you today
that we can put that light up,” said Secretary Joe Prather near the end of a
meeting last Tuesday for the purpose of discussing safety on the highway.
Officials with the DOT District Nine Office in
Flemingsburg said work on the project would get underway as soon as possible.
Prather said he wanted to get a first-hand
assessment of the intersection of the AA Highway with Ky. Rt. 57 and to hear
comments from local residents concerning their wishes on what could be done to
improve safety for motorists navigating the intersection.
“I’m here to get serious about safety,”
Prather told the overflow crowd of more than 100 area residents. He was joined
at the meeting by numerous highway engineers who eagerly took notes as residents
voiced their concerns and made suggestions on improving safety on the highway.
State Representative Mike Denham said he had
begged in Frankfort for many years to upgrade the AA Highway to four lanes.
“The people of this area deserve a four lane highway for the entire length of
the AA,” Denham said.
Prather responded that the possibility of making
the AA Highway a four lane corridor would be taken up as a long-term
Prather began his remarks by announcing his
retirement from state government effective at the end of September. Highway
Engineer Mike Hancock, who was on hand at the meeting, has been named as
Prather opened the floor for comments from those
in attendance and received several comments and recommendations from attendees.
Representative Denham noted some improvements
that had already been made, including rumble strips, signals, signage,
reflectors and deceleration lanes, and added that more needs to be done to
Denham said he felt there were too many
intersections and said the average speed on the AA Highway is 71 miles-per-hour.
“Five-mile-per-hour traffic is merging onto the highway and it’s causing
problems,” he said.
Denham said that in Bracken County that truck traffic on the highway was
determined to be 53 percent of the load while the roadway was designed with an
estimate of 12 percent. He
recommended improving vision at
intersections by relocating guardrails and extending or adding lanes in some
areas to allow for the truck traffic.
Other recommendations and questions from
attendees included enforcing speed limits and reducing speed limits near
major intersections, locating weigh stations for trucks and fog detection
equipment which could activate systems to improve visibility.
BTADD Director Amy Kennedy, who said she travels
37 miles each way for work, pointed out frequent dense fog in some areas and
said people who are unfamiliar with local conditions have problems
navigating the highway during certain times.
She added that with the closure of Ky. Rt. 8
between Vanceburg and Black Oak, more motorists are utilizing the Ronald
Reagan Memorial Highway and causing that intersection with the AA Highway to
be busier than usual.
Orangeburg Fire Chief Kerry Moore pointed out
that mile markers along the highway are confusing to some motorists because
they begin and end in each county. He said his department has been
dispatched to mile markers in Lewis County while the accident was actually
in Bracken County. He suggested changing the numbering system or adding the
county name on each milepost.
Several addressing Prather requested the traffic
signal be added at the Tollesboro intersection and he agreed that the
request made sense to him.
“I want to thank you for opening up and
telling us what’s on your mind,” Prather told the gathering before
promising the light. “This is something I can get accomplished.”
Chief District Engineer Bart Bryant said the
intersection will be signalized for traffic approaching from all four
directions. The installation will include not only new signal heads, but
also traffic controller boxes, advanced warning flashers and other
“We have a team already working on the project
to make sure the installation takes place as quickly as possible,” Bryant
said on Wednesday.
Highway District Nine engineers have
previously undertaken a number of safety measures at the intersection,
including dual overhead flashing beacons and oversized stop signs.
Those safety devices will be
replaced by the new signal and its accompanying warning flashers. The new
devices will complement other safety measures at the intersection, including
dedicated left-turn and right-turn lanes and rumble strips that warn
motorists when they are about to cross the center line or run off the road.
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Magistrates hear E-911 updates
By Dennis Brown
Lewis County Fiscal Court met in regular session
last week and approved several measures dealing with the Lewis County Enhanced
911 Dispatch Center.
Kevin Cornette, Economic Development Director
for Buffalo Trace ADD, addressed magistrates and explained some steps that are
being taken to allow the local dispatch center to be able to accept calls from
cellular telephones in the area and to be eligible for funding paid by those
wireless phone customers for 911 services.
Cornette explained that customers have been
paying a monthly fee for some time, but that fee has gone to the state and is
then distributed to the entities who answer the calls to 911. He said for this
area such calls have been going to Kentucky State Police dispatch centers and
the funding has gone to those centers.
Cornette said with some changes at the local
office the calls will be able to come in there and funding, estimated at $75,000
to $80,000 annually, will also be coming into the county to help with 911
Cornette said a one-time cost of $826.50 to have
necessary telephone lines installed at the local office and additional monthly
costs of $747.76 in telephone bills will allow the local office to receive
wireless 911 calls. The county is currently paying $1,642.80 to Windstream for
services associated with the local 911 center.
Magistrates approved the costs along with a
contract with Windstream to supply E-911 services to the county.
Magistrates also approved standard operating
procedures for the dispatch center along with an evacuation plan for the center
in the event of an emergency there. Cornette said the plan calls for the center
to relocate to the Lewis County Detention Center if an emergency should arise.
He said Windstream would then reroute all calls to existing numbers at the
He added that an overload of calls, such as
during a widespread crisis, would result in overflow calls being rerouted to a
Kentucky State Police dispatch center.
Magistrates also approved sending notification
to wireless carriers to direct them to route all 911 calls made through local
tower sites to the dispatch center. Judge Executive Steve Applegate was
authorized to sign all necessary documents in association with the changes.
Cornette said the local center has been working
since March to accept the wireless 911 calls and that work is progressing well
in getting all addresses in the county verified to assist during times of
Cornette also addressed magistrates concerning
the recent approval of funding for the Garrison Sewer Project.
Cornette said the total project cost is
estimated at $5.3 million and told magistrates that Governor Steve Beshear would
be making a visit to Lewis County to personally deliver some of the funding.
Cornette said there are currently 355 residences
and commercial buildings in the project area and added they would
look at expanding the project area if bids for the project came in lower
He told magistrates that tap-on fees for those
wanting to hook onto the system would increase dramatically after the
project is finished and urged those interested in connecting with the system
to act quickly to save money.
The funding for the project will come from
grants and low interest loans.
Magistrates agreed to designate several items as
surplus property and advertise those items for sale. Among the items are
retired police cruisers from the sheriff’s department, confiscated
vehicles, a backhoe and trucks from the road department, a Bush Hog, utility
trailer and Chevrolet van.
Applegate said he had been in contact with
auctioneer Stacy Cooper about selling the items in conjunction with one of
Cooper’s regular auctions and that a date for the sale has yet to be
Magistrates approved refinancing the Lewis
County Detention Center through the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo)
beginning with an initial variable interest rate of 3.75 percent.
Applegate said that due to governmental
regulations, it was difficult for local banks to be able to loan the money
for such projects and that the funding through KACo would be termed as a
lease rather than a loan.
County Treasurer Kathy Dillow explained that the
county can’t borrow money long-term, that such funding was generally
handled through bond issues. She said the current mortgage holder,
Fifth-Third, would not be renewing a letter of credit with the county
prompting the refinancing.
She said the county would save several thousand
dollars annually by refinancing at the low variable rate and that they could
switch to a fixed rate at any time. The refinancing would be for a 10 year
In other business:
*Magistrates denied a request from the Lewis
County Conservation District for annual support of $20,000 and instead said
they would provide the budgeted amount of $15,000.
*Magistrates approved changes to the Fiscal
Court Capitalization Policy which creates some new categories for emergency
medical equipment. The equipment is purchased through grants received by the
county for use by the ambulance service in the county.
*Magistrates approved the reappointment of Steve
Harris to the Vanceburg-Lewis County Industrial Authority. The term is set
to expire August 31, 2013.
*Magistrates approved opening new checking
accounts for a retirement revolving account and health insurance revolving
County officials presented their monthly
reports and magistrates approved claims and transfers for county accounts
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School district preparing
for what may be bad flu season
The Lewis County Board of Education met in
regular session last week and made an early amendment to the school calendar.
Board members agreed to amend the calendar in
light of a special election which is scheduled for August 25. Students will be
off on that day and instead attend on October 30, which had earlier been
scheduled as a Professional Development day for teachers.
Superintendent Maurice Reeder Jr. said polling
places are located at Lewis County Central and Laurel Elementary Schools and
safety and traffic concerns were considered in making the calendar change.
Reeder said he had spoken with all of the school
principals and said they reported it had been “… the best first day
they’ve ever had in their careers.” He attributed the smooth opening to good
planning and all the hard work employees have put in to accomplish that.
Board members heard from LCHS Nurse Lisa Liles
who talked about swine flu and preparations being made should it become an issue
in Lewis County.
Liles said she had attended a pandemic summit
and said the nation is poised for a potentially serious flu season this year
with swine flu and the usual strains of flu.
She said the nursing facilities at the high
school had been expanded and school nurses and administrators have been working
with officials at Primary Plus and the Lewis County Health Department to develop
a pandemic response matrix to follow in the event of a local outbreak.
Liles said she highly recommends flu vaccines
and noted that they are working to educate students, teachers and parents about
swine flu. “We are taking this very seriously,” she said.
She said those with the highest risk of getting
swine flu, or H1N1, include school-age children, young adults with underlying
conditions, pregnant women and health care workers.
She distributed swine flu information to board
members and said extensive information has been posted on the school district
web site at www.lewis.kyschools.us.
Diane Johnson briefed board members on recent
grants awarded to the school district.
Johnson said Lewis County is the only school
district in Kentucky to receive the Carol White Physical Education Program Grant
this year. The grant will fund the program in all schools in the district and
amounts to $652,871 over three years.
Lewis County also received two State Math
Science Partnership Grants out of only five in Kentucky.
The grants are for $195,000
each year for two years and were awarded
to the Lewis County Middle School. One grant is for Learning in Physical Science
and the other is for Making Algebraic Connections.
Lewis County Middle School will be partnering
with East Carter, West Carter and Rowan County Middle Schools in the projects.
Reeder credited the work of Johnna Hord and
Loretta Dixon for their efforts in helping to obtain the grants for the school
Board members approved the low bid of $268,000
from Trace Creek Construction for two dugouts and the grandstand for the Lewis
County High School Sports Complex and adopted tax rates for 2010.
Reeder said the tax rate of 49 cents per $100
valuation on motor vehicles and watercraft has remained the same for many years
and said the new rates for real estate and tangible property is slightly less
than last year at 40 cents per $100 valuation, each.
Reeder credited PVA Anthony Silvey for his
assistance in getting information together for the school district tax rates.
In other business, board members:
*Approved the 2008-2009 financial report.
*Approved a change order for Tollesboro
Elementary addition and renovation project totaling about $22,000.
*Approved an application for State Fiscal
*Agreed to release final funding to the
contractor on the Lewis County Baseball Field Lighting Project.
*Approved a bid from Modern Foods for milk and
*Approved a bid from Gordon Food Services for
groceries and supplies.
*Approved a bid from Heiner’s Bakery for
*Approved action for emergency/provisional
certification for 2009-2010.
*Approved changing the meeting place for the
September 14 board meeting to Tollesboro Elementary School to allow board
members to look over the building and see the renovation and addition work done
there over the past six years.
Reeder submitted the personnel report for
certified and classified employees.
Certified Resignation: Belinda Forman as of
August 1 due to retirement.
Certified Hires: William Melton, LCMS teacher;
Jack Lykins, assistant principal, 0.5 TES/0.5 GES; Gail Pruitt, LCCE teacher.
Certified Transfers: Stephanie Gastauer, LCHS
assistant principal; Jennie Enix, district wide K-8 instructional coordinator;
Gail Reeder, counselor/GT teacher, 0.8 TES counselor, 0.1 TES GT, 0.1 GES GT;
Edith Wampler, 0.1 LES, 0.5 LCCE, 0.2 GES, 0.2 TES; Karen Wolfe, FMD teacher at
Certified Placement: Shandi Webb, LCCE.
Certified Sub Teacher Hire: Ben Harrison.
Classified Resignations: Jane Wilson,
instructional aide LCMS; Johnda Wierman, athletic trainer LCHS.
Classified Hires: Donna Moore, GES custodian;
Melinda Monroe, bus driver; Melissa Evans, GES instructional assistant.
Classified Transfer: Sandy Stafford, LCHS
Extra Duties Resignations: Jessica Pugh, LCHS
boys and girls cross country, and track and field teams; Jim Lykins, LCHS Social
Studies department chair.
Sub Cooks for 2009-2010: Jane Applegate, Helen
Buckner, Carol Doyle, Pansy Dummitt, Jo Ann Elliott, Lisa Fetters, Vallary Ginn,
Mary Glover, Rebecca McCann, Michelle Noble and Sherry Swim.
Members approved the treasurer’s report and
payment of bills before adjourning.
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107th School Fair to open Tuesday
The 107th edition of the Lewis County
School and Agricultural Fair gets underway Tuesday evening and continues through
Saturday at the fairgrounds adjacent to Lewis County Middle School.
Fair Board President Gary Kidwell said several
events are planned for the fair this year including some new events.
On Tuesday even the baby show gets underway at
6:00 p.m. on the Main Stage with registration beginning at 5:00 p.m. A new event
will begin following the baby show, Kidwell said. Lewis County’s “Got
Talent” will be an attraction for all ages, he added.
Wednesday’s events include a performance by
Elvis Impersonator Bill Kelly starting at 6:00 p.m. while the Tiny Miss, Little
Miss, and Miss Pre-Teen Pageants will be held on the Main Stage beginning at
7:30 p.m. Thursday’s events feature the Miss Teen and Miss Lewis County
Pageants, also on the Main Stage beginning at 7:30 p.m.
A car and tractor cruise-in will take place on
the old football field and a Burnout will get underway in the Horse Ring
beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Kidwell said.
The finals of the Lewis County’s “Got
Talent” event will be on Friday evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the Main
Saturday’s events include the Annual School
Fair Parade which begins at 9:30 a.m. and follows the traditional parade route
through Downtown Vanceburg. Kidwell said rides at the fairgrounds will be
specially priced at $8.00 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Saturday. Saturday
evening’s events at the fairgrounds will wrap up with the Lewis County Horse
Kidwell said rides at the grounds are provided
by Playland and “ride-all-night tickets” will be available for $10.00.
Admission to the fairgrounds is $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for students.
Members of the fair board are Kenny Clark, Missy
Potter, Shiela Cassidy, Sam Howard, Marty Strong, Maurice Reeder Jr., Steve
Applegate, Sid Bloomfield, Westy Adams, Joe Bentley, Becky Sullivan, Steve
Henderson, Danny Chinn, Philip Konopka, Dennis Prater and Gary Kidwell.
Fair Directories were inserted in last
week’s Lewis County Herald. Extra
copies are available at no charge at the Lewis
County Herald Office on Main Street in Vanceburg or from any fair board
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Sewer Project is awarded $1.6 million
Governor Steve Beshear visited Lewis County last
week to announce the award of $1.6 million for the development of a new sewer
system for Garrison.
Beshear stopped by the Lewis County Courthouse
in Vanceburg to present a ceremonial check and talk about the project.
Lewis County Fiscal Court will work with the
Garrison Quincy Water District on the project involving the design and
construction of 43,500 linear feet of low pressure sewer lines, two pump
stations, 355 grinder pumps and a 114,000 gallon-per-day extended aeration
package wastewater treatment plant.
The improvements are expected to eliminate 286
failing septic systems, 33 straight pipes and 36 functioning septic systems,
“Many residents in northern Lewis County have
been forced to make do with poor and even unsanitary means of disposing of
wastewater,” Beshear said. “This new treatment facility will alleviate
concerns of raw sewage and failing septic systems which will improve the
environment for families and businesses in the Garrison community and
Lewis County Fiscal Court received two separate
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awards for the project. The first, for
$1 million, came from a regular CDBG grant and the remaining $600,000 came from
the CDBG Recovery program authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009.
“The local officials in Lewis County have
worked hard to secure the funding for this valuable project and I am pleased to
be able to contribute to this investment in infrastructure,” Beshear stated.
“This project will truly improve the quality
of life for so many members of the Garrison community and Lewis County,” said
Representative Robin Webb. “This funding will help create a more sanitary,
healthy way of disposing of wastewater while protecting our families and water
“I appreciate Gov. Beshear’s support in
helping us secure funding for a project that is long past due,” she added.
Kentucky’s CDBG program is managed by the
Department for Local Government and funded through the US Department of Housing
and Urban Development.
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