October 17, 2006, News
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prescription drug program
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Lewis County Fiscal Court moved to approve the Managed Pharmacy Benefit Services Agreement with the National Association of Counties (NACo) Prescription Drug Discount Program.
Discount cards will be furnished free to all county residents through the local Health Department. The cards can be used at selected pharmacies. Details on how to apply will be announced at a later date.
Shayne Schnell, consultant for MedCorp from Toledo, Ohio, and Fred Isch, General Manager of MedCorp gave a power point presentation of the MedCorp Emergency Medical Service.
First District Magistrate Milt Stanfield asked Schnell if the company could provide two full time ambulances for the county and keep one stationed in Tollesboro.
County Judge Executive Steve Applegate asked the representatives to present two proposals to the county, one with one full time ambulance and the other with two. The proposals will be considered at a later date.
Sandy Marshall, Marketing Director for the River Valley Agritourism Alliance and Philip Konopka, local Extension Service agent explained the work of the Alliance to the court and requested a matching fund donation of $2,500 for the program. The court complied with their request and approved the matching fund contribution.
Marshall said that the Alliance attempts to get people to come to the community's fairs, markets and festivals. A main goal is to create markets for farm products such as produce or crafts.
River Valley covers Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Robertson Counties.
Marshall explained that farmers can have gift shops right on their farms.
An available brochure states "Agritourism is the crossroads of tourism and agriculture: when the public visits farms, ranches or wineries to buy products, enjoy entertainment, participate in activities, eat a meal or spend the night."
The Tollesboro Lions Club Fair, the Vanceburg Harvest Festival, the Lewis County School and Agricultural Fair and the Lewis County Farmers Market are among the activities and features listed in the River Valley Agritourism brochure.††
The court approved the county tax rates for the fiscal year.
The county property tax rate on real estate will be 12.8 percent per $100 of assessed value and 14.10 for personal and tangible property.
The tax rate for the Board of Education will be 41 cents per $100 of assessed value for real estate; 40.7 for personal and tangible property; and 49.0 for motor vehicles and watercraft.
For the Library Board the tax rate is 3.60 for real estate; 6.34 for personal and tangible property; and 1.76 for motor vehicles and watercraft.
The Health Department tax rate is 3.40 for real estate; 3.80 for personal and tangible property; and 3.80 for motor vehicles and watercraft.
The tax rate for all the fire districts is .10 per $100 of assessed value; and for timberland and forested acres it is .03 per acre.
The court moved to advertise several items as surplus property for future sale.
At the request of the Buffalo Trace Area Development District the court moved to adopt an ordinance requiring all utility service providers to require all persons seeking new service to provide an address as assigned by the fiscal court in order to establish a uniform system of addresses for Enhanced 911.
During the public response time on the agenda Lewis County resident Dewayna Adams appeared before the court to complain about the weeds needing to be mowed and the ditches cleaned out in the Green Briar, Vance Creek and Rock Creek areas.
Applegate told Adams that a mowing crew had been out mowing practically every day and a crew was mowing that very day, but he would make those areas a priority.
Third District Magistrate Keith Chapman disputed Adams' claim that the roads had not been ditched for nine years. He said he had been out there when they were being ditched, and he said that the road sides had already been mowed about twice this year.
Chapman asserted that Adams' complaints gave the impression that the fiscal court wasn't doing anything when in fact it was doing its job.
Before sitting down Adams commented that the first time the country crew mowed this year they didn't do a very good job.
Before adjourning Applegate announced that the next regular session of fiscal court will be on Monday, November 13, at 9:30 a.m. in the third floor courtroom of the Lewis County Courthouse.
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Natural gas rates to be reduced again
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Electric Plant Board of the City of Vanceburg heard an update on the 2004 Water Project.
Superintendent Phil Kennedy told the board that Kentucky Rural Development has notified him that the department is giving Vanceburg an additional grant of $76,000 for the project and would itself loan the utility company the balance of the funds needed for the project.
Kennedy said that 70 percent of the funding comes through grants and 30 percent through low interest loans, and that is unheard of. The project cost totals $1,450,000 with $1 million in grants and $450,000 in loans.
He told the board that the company has 7,200 services, noting that that means water, electric, gas and sewer. Some homes have all four services. He delineated the services as follows: electric 3,424; gas 477; sewer 773; and water 2,536.
Kennedy was pleased with the number of water customers and explained how the recent water projects have added to that number. He said that within the city limits the company has 794 water customers, 108 on Rt. 8 towards Quicks Run, 508 in Black Oak, 138 on Town Branch, 779 on Rt. 59 and 384 on Salt Lick.
He informed the board that the budget for the combined sewer project has been submitted to Frankfort. The Environmental Protection Agency will return its report to the company by December 31, and then he will develop a long range plan for upgrading and improving the local sewer system.
Kennedy noted that all the electric work at the Vanceburg-Lewis County Industrial Park at Black Oak has been competed and commended the CW Wright Company for doing a good job. He said that Wright was able to complete the job without one power outage.
The board moved to authorize Kennedy to purchase a new backhoe at the state contract price estimated at $63,940. The backhoe will be a Case 580M with an extendable dipper and both 18-inch and a 24-inch buckets.
He said that the old backhoe still works rather well, but it is 12-years-old and is beginning to have problems, and repairs are expensive. The company plans to keep the old unit and use it as a backup.
On Kennedyís recommendation the board moved to reduce natural gas rates by five percent. The rates were reduced by the same amount last month.
Before adjourning the board approved the financial reports and the October invoices, and Kennedy announced that the annual audit was completed and would be presented at next month's session.
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Board takes steps to ensure safe environment
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session October 9, the Lewis County Board of Education learned about the safety procedures in place in the school district.
Superintendent Maurice Reeder Jr. explained the school safety program to assure the board that measures are being taken to provide a safe learning environment in Lewis County schools. The emphasis on safety comes after six students and one principal were killed in three school shootings in two weeks across the nation.
Safety measures in place include the following:
*Exterior doors are locked
*Check in procedures for visitors
*Safe Schools Plans
*Relationships: Students/parents feel comfortable sharing concerns
*Relationships: With local first emergency responders
*Emergency Response Plans/Protocol
*Lock down drills
*School Crisis teams
*Training from Kentucky Center for Safe Schools in 2004
School Safety Officer Kevin Duff met with all the principals on October 5 to review the program. The review involved individual discussions of the schools' preparedness, proactive strategies, ensuring that school crisis teams meet and discuss safety, lock down procedures, student dismissal procedures and incident command.
Duff asked the principals to re-emphasize the measures with their respective staffs. He stressed the importance of vigilance and arranged for the principals to report on their progress.
The board accepted the $1,189,000 base bid and alternate bid for the doors from Packs, Inc., Morehead, for the Phase II Tollesboro Elementary construction and renovation project. In conjunction with that action the board also approved the architect's recommendation to accept the bid from Packs, Inc.
Joe Nance, Vice President of Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, Frankfort, reviewed the bonding process to the board.
He said that the school district has a bonding potential of $1,525,000. The current program, however, is for $1,450,000. That means that $75,000 will be held over to apply to the next phase in the Tollesboro project. By May 2008 the school's bonding potential will be back to $1 million, and the third phase of the project can continue.
The board then adopted a resolution authorizing the Lewis County School District Finance Corporation to issue those revenue bonds.
The board then recessed the regular session to call the Finance Corporation to order, and the corporation adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds.
The board immediately returned to the regular session. The school board members also serve as the members of the district's Finance Corporation.
Greg McCane appeared before the board to request authority to seek bids to upgrade the data lines to fiber. He said that the upgrade would enable the district to do online testing.
Belinda Forman reported the results of the CATS testing to the board. She said that three of the schools met their goals and three others are progressing. She stated that overall the administrators are pleased with the test results.
She said that the district is not in trouble with the state, but the educators do want the schools to improve.
Forman explained that the district goal was 76.1 and went from 75.4 to 76.5, a total of 76 when you combine those two years. We made improvements from 2004-05 up to 2005-06.
Garrison Elementary had a goal of 76.9 and improved from 71.3 to 75.2 giving a combined score of 73.3. That means the school is progressing.
Laurelís goal was 81.0 and the school had a 73.3 in 2004 and went up to 77.9 making a combined score of 75.6. Laurel did not meet the goal of 81.0 but they did make progress.
The goal at Central Elementary was 73.0 but they were at 78.4 then dropped to 77.1 with a total of 77.8.
Forman said that Central met its goal, but the district still doesnít want to see any scores going down but to keep going up.
Tollesboro had a goal of 77 and scored 83.3 and then 82.6 and still met their goal with a combined score of 83.0.
The middle school had a goal of 75.1 and scored 72.2 both years.
The high school's goal was 75.7 and scored 76.5 and 79.6 with a combined score of 78.1 and met the goal.
The staff is well pleased with the high school because the students just keep making their goals.
Forman concluded by saying that the teaching staff will continue to revise and make new improvement plans.
Kevin Duff reported that the school enrollment is up this year. He said that the average daily attendance was up 30 over this time last year.
Reeder announced that the annual Veterans Day Program will be held in the high school auditorium on Friday, November 10, at 9:30 a.m. Veterans Day this year falls on Saturday, November 11.
The board approved having the Kentucky State Police Canine Drug Unit in the school district at the high school and middle school again this year.
The board approved the working budget for this school year. This is the third and final move on the budget. It shows that the district pays $1 million in salaries each month.
The board approved entering the Limestone Academy League. The fee for entering the organization is $1,400 for the high school, the middle school and all the elementary schools.
The board also approved using a school bus to transport some residents of the nursing home to the Veterans Day Program on November 10.
In order to comply with state regulations the board approved a revised BG1 for the Central Elementary and the middle school roofing project and another revised BG1 for the installation of an air unit at the middle school.
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Vandalism at courthouse and detention
The Lewis County Sheriff's Department and Vanceburg Police Department are investigating a vandalism act at the Lewis County Courthouse and jail at about 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11.
All four tires on the jail transport auto, one tire on the jail van and all four tires on a sheriff's cruiser were punctured with a knife.
Two people are believed to be involved in the incident. A small white pickup truck with a loud muffler was reported in the area at that time.
The Sheriff's Department is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at 606-796-2912 or the Vanceburg Police Department at 606-796-2111.
Lewis County Sheriff's Office
tires on the Sheriff's cruiser, jail transport auto and van were the result of
vandalism last Wednesday evening.
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