September 21, 2010,
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Jailer requests help with budget
- School nurses review program for board of ed - Assistance
sought for historic cemetery - Water flowing on Old Trace
Ridge - Weather spotter
honored by NWS
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requests help with budget
The discussion of jail funding
dominated the meeting of Lewis County Fiscal Court last week as the jailer and
magistrates considered ways to provide for the operation of the jail and not
spend more than two-thirds of the facility’s budget by the end of the year.
Jailer Tim Underwood said that under
state law no more than 65 percent of the jail’s total budget may be spent by
December 31 and he is concerned that at the current rate of spending, funds
won’t be available to operate the jail toward the end of the year.
The law is in place to ensure the
incoming jailer will have funds available to operate through the end of the
fiscal year in June.
“We need help with the jail
fund,” Underwood said.
Magistrates suggested providing no
more than basic services to inmates in an effort to cut some of the costs.
Underwood said he had told court
members five months ago the budget didn’t include the increased cost of adding
deputy jailers at the facility as mandated by the state to monitor a section of
the jail which had been changed from a state inmate housing to county inmate
Underwood added the state has also
stopped sending state inmates to the facility because they believe the county
has stopped working to alleviate the overcrowding problem that has plagued the
jail for some time.
The county is paid to house the
state inmates and those funds are used to pay jail expenses and to pay down
bonds used to fund construction of the facility.
Fewer state inmates results in
decreased income for the facility.
Judge Executive Steve Applegate said
the budget would be tight until at least the end of October when the insurance
premium tax would be paid to the county. “We need to run as efficiently as
possible from now until the end of the year,” he added.
“What happens if we run out of
money before the end of the year?” Underwood asked.
Treasurer Kathy Dillow said that
when expenditures for the jail fund reach 65 percent of the total budget, she
can no longer write checks on the account.
“There should be a way to resolve
any potential problem,” said County Attorney Clayton “Buddy” Lykins Jr.
Applegate said he doesn’t want to
affect the incoming administration by making any major changes to the budget.
Anita Gilbert, a candidate for Judge
Executive in the November election, suggested a meeting between candidates and
current officials to discuss the situation and to show the state that the county
is actively doing something to address the jail situation.
Applegate said he would be glad to
participate and added he would be available and willing to participate as needed
after his term ends in December.
“We should keep the state informed
on what we are doing,” Underwood said.
Magistrates voted to borrow from the
road fund, as needed, up to $150,000 to cover necessary expenses at the jail.
The funds will have to be paid back to the road fund according to law.
“It’s the same as borrowing from
a bank,” said Dillow.
“Borrowing from the road fund
won’t have any interest expense,” she added.
In other business last week,
magistrates approved the second reading of an ordinance to show unbudgeted
receipts to the general fund from the state for flood debris removal.
Magistrates also acknowledged the receipt of the Garrison Fire Tax
District’s annual budget for the fiscal year.
Magistrates approved the
reappointment of Rodney Ginn to the Vanceburg-Lewis County Industrial
Authority for a four year term; the appointment of Dr. Harold Harrison to
the Helen Rayburn Public Library Board of Trustees for a four year term; and
the appointment of Melissa Potter to the Garrison-Quincy-Ky. Heights Water
District Board of Directors to complete an unexpired term.
Members agreed to pay the annual
rent of $1,650 for the Lewis County Conservation Office. “They don’t
have enough funds of their own to pay some of their expenses,” Applegate
He noted the office has helped to
bring nearly $1 million in funding into the county for several worthwhile
Magistrates approved a resolution
approving an agreement for the Rural Secondary Road Program with the state
to provide about $220,000 in resurfacing or initial treatment of selected
Magistrates heard the first reading
of a budget amendment to show unbudgeted receipts into the road fund from
the state of about $35,000.
Road Foreman Dane Howard reported to
magistrates that he is continuing to work on data from flooding in May and
July adding that no reimbursement has yet been received from FEMA for damage
repairs as a result of the flooding.
He noted 75 percent of the costs
associated with the repairs will be paid from federal funds and an
additional 12 percent will come from state funds. The total would be about
$1.2 million or $1.3 million, he said.
Howard added that pothole repairs
and other maintenance on county roadways were continuing in addition to the
work being done to repair flood damage.
E-911 Director Carl Chaney reported
that two dispatchers from the E-911 Center would be attending training in
Richmond for four weeks.
Magistrate Joe Bentley questioned
the number of calls to the Vanceburg Police Department answered by 911
operators. Bentley said 165 calls to the city’s police number were made
during the previous month compared to 211 calls answered at the center for
the sheriff’s department.
Bentley suggested the city
contribute more funding for the operation of the dispatch center in light of
the number of calls being answered by the center’s operators.
Applegate said he would look into
Magistrates voted to go into
executive session to discuss personnel matters. The meeting reopened to the
public about 45 minutes later and Applegate announced no action would be
taken on matters discussed during the closed session.
Members approved the payment of
bills and fund transfers before adjourning.
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nurses review program for board of ed
By Dennis Brown
The Lewis County Board of Education met in
regular session last week and heard this month’s success story from two nurses
participating in the School Nurse Program for the district.
Kathy Collier and Lisa Liles presented
information to board members about the program which has been in place now for
Collier, who has been part of the program since
its inception, expressed appreciation to Superintendent Maurice Reeder Jr. and
board members for their support of the program to provide the service for the
students of the district.
Collier also praised Jerry Ugrin, CEO of Primary
Plus, for his foresight and efforts to get the program underway in the Lewis
County School system.
“He didn’t want to see any child suffer
unnecessary (health) complications,” Collier said of Ugrin. “He felt the
program was needed for the community and took the initiative.”
Collier spoke of the importance of school health
and cited positive encounters with students and parents while providing services
to the students in the district.
Collier said the program has been a great help
to the community, especially in providing care to students whose families have
lost health insurance coverage.
She also expressed her appreciation for the
health facilities located in the schools across the district, saying they are
some of the best and most well equipped she has seen.
Liles provided board members with a list of
services provided by the school nurses and said the program’s affiliation with
Primary Plus and other health care providers helps to make the proper treatment
readily available for students.
Liles said school nurses see a lot of sports
related injuries as well as the usual school age maladies. She noted the
collaboration with the Women’s Health Clinic as a great benefit in dealing
with the school age girls.
She said the annual flu vaccinations at the
schools are just getting underway for the season.
When asked about the concern over the recent
reports of bedbug infestations across the country, Liles responded that
school nurses have been proactive on the matter.
She noted that although bedbugs could be carried
into the schools in clothing or backpacks, the school environment doesn’t
provide a welcoming habitat for the parasitic insects.
“We don’t believe it will be a common
occurrence in the schools but we may see bedbug bites on students,” she
Liles said the Fayette County School System has
a policy in place and that she would review it and report back with a
“The nursing program is the best thing we’ve ever done
in the school district,” Reeder said. “We really appreciate the health
department, Primary Plus and the nurses,” he added.
In regular business, members approved a working budget for
the current school year.
“This is the tightest and most challenging budget I’ve
ever worked with,” Reeder told board members.
He said the budget reflected a cut of $500,000 in school
personnel and a decline of about three percent in enrollment, or 43
students, resulting in about $170,000 less in ADA funds.
“It’s a challenge and we’ll just have to deal with
it,” Reeder said of the budget. “Sadly, cuts have to be personnel.”
Board members approved the purchase of four new school buses
through the Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association (KISTA) at
a total cost of $397,951 and approved a sale of surplus property located at
the bus garage by sealed bids.
In other business, members approved indirect cost rates for
the upcoming school year along with payment for update training of
substitute bus drivers.
The board approved a revised instructional assistant salary
schedule, a four year facility survey and field trips for JROTC and the TES
Board members approved the payment of bills and
treasurer’s report before adjourning.
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sought for historic cemetery
A request for assistance with a
cemetery of significant historic value was the primary topic during the regular
session of Vanceburg City Council last week.
Charlie Stapleton, a member of the
board overseeing the care of Woodlawn Cemetery, said he had a request for
council to consider concerning the maintenance of the historic site.
The cemetery, he said, is located at
the edge of the current city boundaries. He asked if the land could be annexed
into the city to allow city workers to help with keeping the cemetery regularly
He noted that about $40,000 is set
aside for the upkeep of the graves and regular maintenance but the costs of
having it mowed amount to between $5,000 and $6,000 annually, and within and few
years the fund will be depleted.
He also asked if a city worker would
be able to supervise inmates if the cemetery board would supply equipment and
gasoline for mowing.
Mayor Angie Patton said there are
fewer inmates available from the detention center to assist city workers. “For
the month of August we had just one inmate to work and sometimes we didn’t
have any,” she said.
“The city is behind on mowing
now,” she continued. “We only have one to two employees and we’ve had
Patton said she would explore ways
the city could help out but said she couldn’t make a commitment.
Stapleton said if anyone would like
to make donations toward the maintenance of the cemetery, they may be sent to
Vanceburg Attorney John Holder.
Stapleton also asked for volunteers
who might be able to assist in mowing or trimming weeds for this fall and for
the 2011 mowing season.
In another matter, Patton said she
had looked into the cat problem around the city and had reviewed some ordinances
in other cities that deal with cats. She said to be able to address the
situation legally the city must have
an animal control officer on the payroll and a facility to house and care for
“There are no funds in the budget
for this,” she said. “A tax would have to be enacted and the costs of doing
all of this wouldn’t be very cheap.”
She said she would continue to look
at ways to address the problem and the concerns of residents.
Council adopted a resolution
concerning dealing with environmental mitigation measures for the fire
department/community center project. Patton said the required action ensures the
city will adopt and follow federal guidelines on the project.
Council also approved a legal
services agreement for the fire department/community center project with Rubin
and Hays, municipal bond attorneys located in Louisville.
Patton told council members that
Nugent Sand Company had withdrawn their application to dredge sand from the Ohio
River near here. Patton and council members had signed a petition and forwarded
it to the Corps of Engineers opposing the project.
Patton said there were concern the
project would harm species of fish and mussels in the river and would also
affect property along the river in areas where the dredging would take place.
She said the dredging would have
been a “for-profit” project for the company and would not benefit the river
traffic or flow of the river.
Patton also read a letter from
Time-Warner Cable officials concerning operating hours at the local cable
Patton said the local office will
now be closed on Thursdays and will have operating hours from 8:00 a.m. until
4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
She acknowledged a donation from
Columbia Gas to the Vanceburg Volunteer Fire Department in the amount of $100,
adding the company made a similar donation to the local fire department each
Council members approved the minutes
of the previous meeting and payment of bills before adjourning.
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flowing on Old Trace Ridge
The Vanceburg Electric Plant Board met in
regular session last week with board members learning that water is now
available to residents on Old Trace Ridge.
Superintendent Bill Tom Stone said the project
was started several months ago with the cooperation of the Rattlesnake Ridge
Water District. He said customers can sign up at the utility office in Vanceburg
to tap on to the system.
Stone also reported that utility workers
continue to meet with FEMA representatives to complete applications for
reimbursement on repairs to damage caused by flash floods in May and July.
He said meetings are ongoing with vendors to
discuss the purchase of a mapping program for the natural gas system. The
creation of maps showing the location of natural gas lines is required by a
recently enacted law.
Stone said workers are also installing devices
to keep rain
water from entering the sewer system around
Vanceburg. He said the project will take place over the next couple of months
and should help to alleviate problems with overflow situations during periods of
In new business, Stone said work to get video of
the inside of water lines will soon be underway in the downtown area.
He said the video will enable engineers to
evaluate the existing system and determine the best ways to deal with and
correct sewer system problems.
Board members approved a resolution authorizing
Stone to apply for funding through the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to help
pay for a required sewer system upgrade.
Stone said the $2.5 million loan would be at one
percent interest over 20 years with 30 percent of the loan in the form of a
grant, which would not have to be repaid.
Board members approved the payment of bills and
financial reports before adjourning.
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spotter honored by NWS
Weather spotter and Happy Hollow resident Paula
Franke has been recognized for her efforts in supplying local weather
information to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.
Officials with the National Weather Service came
to Vanceburg last week to present Franke with an award and thank her for her
contributions which assist meteorologists at the Wilmington office in making
forecasts and issuing weather watches and warnings.
The award, specifically the United States
Department of Commerce, NOAA - Special Service Award, was presented to Franke in
recognition and appreciation of significant service rendered for the National
“Paula’s impressive reports made a
tremendous difference to the meteorologists working on July 20 and 21,” said
Ken Haydu, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Wilmington NWS Office.
Franke called the NWS office numerous times
overnight as heavy rains drenched the area and resulted in flash flooding that
caused significant damage.
Franke said that in one twenty minute period
during the storm she measured more than an inch of precipitation and reported it
to the NWS office.
Dan’l Sisson, Franke’s husband, said at one
point during the storm he even went outside to make sure the rain gauge wasn’t
collecting runoff from their home. “We just couldn’t believe how fast it was
coming down,” he said.
Based on Franke’s reports and information from
radar, meteorologists issued a flood emergency for the first time, Haydu said.
“That was the first one ever issued by our office,” he told local officials.
Mary Jo Parker, who serves as the NWS Training
Coordinator and is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist, said the Weather
Services’ Spotter Program is important for what is actually happening
weatherwise in the local area. She said while radar images provide valuable
information, it is an estimation and doesn’t indicate what is actually
happening on the ground.
Franke has served as a volunteer weather spotter
for 30 years and has become a familiar name among meteorologists in the
Wilmington NWS Office. She served as a spotter for the Chicago NWS Office while
she a resident of Illinois.
Julie Dian-Reed, a Service Hydrologist, said
forecasters and meteorologists in the Wilmington office are all familiar with
Franke and recommended her for the commendation following the July flooding.
“She's an experienced spotter who provides
accurate and timely reports, often when we need them the most,” Dian-Reed
The presentation was made at the E-911 Center in
Vanceburg with Lewis County Emergency Management Director Carl Chaney and Judge
Executive Steve Applegate on hand.
“We appreciate Paula’s efforts over the
years,” said Chaney. “Her efforts are certainly appreciated,” Applegate
In making the presentation, Haydu read a letter
that accompanied the certificate:
“Since 2005, National Weather Service Trained
Volunteer Spotter Paula Franke has shown exceptional dedication to her role in
the Spotter Program, and to the safety of her fellow Lewis County residents. The
National Weather Service Office in Wilmington, Ohio has received numerous
rainfall and snowfall reports from Mrs. Franke, often during heavy rain and snow
“Perhaps the most notable example of Mrs.
Franke’s dedication came during the evening and overnight hours of July 20-21,
2010, when a devastating flash flood struck Lewis County, Kentucky. Mrs. Franke
called in frequent rainfall observations during the late evening and into the
overnight hours. She even called twice within 30 minutes to report she had
received one inch of rain in just 20 minutes time.
“Forecasters on duty during this remarkable
event recognized the severity of the persistent rainfall training over the same
regions within Mason and Lewis counties. With virtually no rain gages located
near the heaviest rainfall, real time ground reports were critical, especially
during such extreme flash flooding. Timely reports from Mrs. Franke resulted in
an increased confidence in the radar rainfall estimates by the NWS
meteorologists on duty in Wilmington, Ohio. Mrs. Franke’s rainfall reports
assisted in the early warning of the flash flood potential provided to Lewis
County residents. With this additional confidence in the magnitude of the
rainfall, NWS forecasters notified the Lewis county dispatch of the potential
for extreme flash flooding.
“This award has been given in appreciation of
the significant services provided to the Wilmington Weather Forecast Office of
the National Weather Service. Mrs. Franke is a tremendous asset to the NWS
Wilmington Spotter Program.”
Haydu stressed the importance of the weather
spotter program and said a spotter class is being planned for Lewis County in
the near future. The class trains local volunteers what weather conditions to be
alert for and how to report them.
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