October 20, 2009,
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Plant Board going into winter with
less money than usual - Magistrates hear proposals
on health care for inmates - School board members see Web
upgrades - Court of Appeals to hear cases locally - Anthony
Silvey is candidate for PVA
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going into winter with less money than usual
By Dennis Brown
in regular session last week, the Vanceburg Electric Plant Board learned that
the utility company will be going into the winter season with less financial
reserves than usual.
Board Superintendent Eric Bloomfield told board members that the seven monthly
payments of $51,000 each to the company’s electric supplier, coupled with
other factors, has resulted in the utility company going into the winter months
with less money on-hand than he had hoped.
monthly payments are the result of a “true-up” in which the local utility
company pays the supplier based on actual costs of producing electricity for the
previous year. The true-up payments are in addition to the monthly payments made
to the supplier after the supplier has determined actual rates based on costs.
said the monthly cost for purchased power has increased and that, due to the
mild summer, sales for electricity to their customers are down about 20 percent
from the previous year.
said the utility company is now purchasing natural gas and putting it into
storage for the winter months at a much lower rate than the cost was only a few
told board members that the utility company had received an assessment of about
$29,000 following a recent state sales tax audit and said he would be appealing
the assessment to try to get it lowered.
said part of the assessment was related to sales tax on school tax and a large
portion of the assessment was a result of not charging sales tax on second
meters and non-residential meters.
updated board members on progress being made on a project to separate the storm
sewer from the sanitary sewer system in Vanceburg.
said the project must be completed by January 2012, as mandated by the
Environmental Protection Agency, and is expected to cost about $5 million.
he said, is expected to be financed primarily through grants, including a $2
million EDA grant, $500,000 ARC grant, $1 million Community Development Block
Grant, $300,000 EPA grant and $500,000 in state and federal
said that to qualify for the direct federal grant money the utility company
must follow procurement guidelines and develop a facility plan along with an
environmental impact study.
estimates the facility plan will cost about $30,000 and said the
environmental impact study will run about $500,000. That process, including
procurement of engineering, is estimated to take from 18 to 24 months.
other business, Bloomfield reported that an application for grants to
purchase electric generators for the utility company had been denied. He
also told board members a grant that had been approved by the state in 2006
and had been assigned to another project could not be received without an
act by state legislature.
told board members that a $500,000 grant had been applied for to construct a
section of six-inch water line and add three new fire hydrants in the
Meadowbrook and Indian Hills area. He also reported that the project to
separate the combined sewer system in Vanceburg had been placed at the top
of the funding list for the Buffalo Trace Area Development District.
Board members approved an application to FEMA for reimbursement to repair
storm damage and approved financial reports and payment of invoices before
He said that cushion has been depleted since
the utility company had to pay a “true-up” to the electric supplier. He
said a true-up is the amount paid each year after the supplier assembles all
the costs and then bills utilities for the amounts above what was paid each
month, as called for in their contracts.
He said the true-up paid to AEP this year was
about $460,000, up from about $40,000 in previous years. He added that the
utility company is now paying above market rate for power.
Bloomfield outlined some of his goals and
said he would continue to improve and maintain the plant board systems, keep
rates as affordable as the market will allow, supply new customers and
maintain the high level of service that customers have come to expect.
Council members approved the minutes of the
previous meeting before adjourning.
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Magistrates hear proposals on health care
By Dennis Brown
County Fiscal Court met in an extended regular session last week approving
numerous items dealing with a Community Development Block Grant for the Garrison
Sewer Project and hearing proposals from companies who want to manage health
care for jail inmates.
Kemper, a marketing representative with Southern Health Partners, and Michael
Coffee, a client service coordinator with Advanced Correctional Healthcare, each
addressed magistrates with proposals to provide a health plan for the jail.
proposed providing nursing services at the detention center along with a medical
director, or medical administrator, to make decisions concerning the health care
Tim Underwood said that contracting with such a service could save money for the
county and would help reduce liability for the county.
said the costs of supplying medical services to inmates have risen dramatically
in the past few years and decisions to send an inmate for emergency medical
treatment are difficult for non-medical personnel at the detention center to
Treasurer Kathy Dillow said that hospital bills for inmates totaled about
$41,000 last fiscal year and that the costs had doubled from the year before.
county is responsible for medical bills incurred for the treatment of county
no final decision on the matter was made, it was discussed later by the
Detention Center Advisory Committee and recommended for further consideration
after more information could be put together for review.
approved several matters dealing with grant funds for the Garrison Wastewater
Project. Judge Executive Steve Applegate explained that the required resolutions
budget amendments were necessary to follow the requirements associated with
receiving federal funding for the project.
approved the appointment of Kelly Armstrong as treasurer for the Kinniconick
Volunteer Fire Department Taxing Board and approved a resolution accepting
ownership, maintenance and operations of a recently completed bridge at
Skidmore Lane near Garrison. The $600,000 bridge replacement was funded by
approved a resolution adopting and approving the execution of an agreement
between fiscal court and the Kentucky Department of Transportation for road
aid. Applegate said the $210,856 will pay for repaving and some initial
blacktopping on prioritized county roads.
approved assisting the Lewis County Conservation District by paying their
office space annual rent of $1,650 and approved purchasing a new vehicle for
the road supervisor.
said the state contract price on a Ford F-250 diesel powered four-door truck
is $32,668. He said the vehicle will replace one which has been in use by
the road department for several years and is nearly worn out.
announced that the county will be applying for funds to clean up illegal
dumpsites and asked that any dumpsites, on public or private property, be
turned in. He said they will be cleaned up at no cost to the property owner.
said all county E-911 addressing had been sent to Mapquest and will soon be
accessible through that service.
officials presented their monthly reports and Jailer Tim Underwood thanked
magistrates for their approval last month on the purchase of a state surplus
van for use by the detention center.
approved payment of bills before adjourning.
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School board members see
Lewis County Board of Education met in regular session last week and heard from
Kasey Nolen concerning the school district’s presence on the Internet.
Maurice Reeder Jr. said Nolen “… does a good job and spends a lot of time
working on the schools’ sites.”
informed board members of recent upgrades to the school system’s web presence
and introduced a new home page for Lewis County High School. He said the
school’s site also features an alumni page, student news and photo galleries.
said he keeps current happenings and announcements posted on the district’s
home page and at least one person from each school in the district provides him
with information on their school for him to post on the site.
Johnson addressed board members and briefed them on two grants that had been
received by the district in the past week. One, she said, is a Striving Readers
Grant which targets high school freshmen and the other is a Rural Utility Grant
for distance learning.
said the district has received several grants in the past few months and is now
in the process of applying for a History Grant.
distributed an interim performance report for schools in the district and
reviewed the scores for board members.
Reeder told board members that
he was disappointed with testing scores and said indicators last year showed all
schools were making big improvements.
Reeder said that everyone in the district worked very hard and that with the
way scores are weighted, one school can’t fairly
be compared with another
school. He said the same is true in trying to compare scores from district to
district or even state to state.
“We’re trying to overcome
generations of academic barriers,” Reeder said. “And now we’re getting
back to work.”
Reeder said there are more
programs in the district targeted toward reading than ever before and that more
students are reading at higher levels than ever before. At graduation, he said,
students are in the top 20 percent in the state.
Reeder reviewed a detailed
list of improvement efforts being implemented by schools and said the district
has begun to review and revise its comprehensive plan with an emphasis on
targeting specific areas of needs as revealed in the reports.
Board members approved a
change order for the Tollesboro Elementary renovation project for all new window
blinds at a cost of just over $8,000 and approved a resolution authorizing
Reeder to apply for aid from FEMA following snow and ice storms.
Members also approved bond
refinancing through the Kentucky Interlocal School Transportation Association
for some financial savings.
Reeder reported the hiring of
Larry Riley as assistant principal at LCHS for 50 days and Jimmie Blevins as
part-time custodian at Laurel Elementary for four hours per day for 200 days.
He reported the resignation of
Eugene Polley as custodian at Laurel Elementary and the hiring of Kayla Stafford
as LCHS drama coach, Samantha Reams as LCHS assistant track coach and Sarah
Porter as LCHS track coach.
Board members approved the
treasurer’s report and payment of bills before adjourning.
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Court of Appeals to hear cases locally
The Kentucky Court of
Appeals will hear oral arguments in civil and criminal case
appeals Tuesday, October 20, at the Lewis County Justice Center
The cases are on appeal
from Bell, Harlan and Laurel counties. The
proceedings are open to the public.
A three-judge panel
consisting of Court of Appeals Judges Michelle M. Keller, Joy A. Moore and
Jeff S. Taylor will hear oral arguments starting at 10:30 a.m. in
the Circuit Courtroom on the third floor of the Justice Center.
On the docket at 10:30
a.m. is a civil case. The Cumberland River Regional Mental Health-Mental
Retardation Board is appealing a jury verdict and judgment in favor of Michael
The board argues that
there were errors regarding the admission and exclusion of evidence during
trial, that the trial court submitted faulty instructions to the jury and that
the court erred when it denied Cumberland River’s motions for summary judgment
and a directed verdict.
The original case
involved conduct by Cumberland River’s employees that led to Sheliga being
involuntary admitted to the mental ward at Appalachian Regional Hospital.
The Laurel County judge
who ruled in the case was Judge Roger L. Crittenden. The appellant’s
attorney is James Ridings and the appellee’s attorney is Leroy
On the docket at 11:15
a.m. is a criminal case appeal 2008-CA-000089 about whether the trial court
improperly admitted certain evidence at trial. Case appeal 2008-CA-000327
is about whether the trial court improperly excluded evidence at trial.
The Harlan County
judge who ruled in the case was Judge Russell D. Alred. The appellant’s
attorneys are Otis Doan Jr. and David Johnson and the appellee’s
attorneys are Henry Johnson and James Shackelford.
On the docket at 1:45
p.m. is a civil case. Issues are
whether the trial
court erred by excluding evidence and whether damages awarded
The Bell County
judge who ruled in the case was Judge James L. Bowling. The appellant’s
attorneys areWinter Huff and John Prather Jr. and the appellee’s attorneys are
Todd Willard, Bruce Batten II and Stephen O’Brien III.
Judge Michelle M.
Keller was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve as
judge for Division 1 of the 6th Appellate District. She also serves as the Court
of Appeals representative on the Judicial Conduct Commission.
Judge Joy A. Moore was
elected judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in November 2006 to serve
Division 2 of the 6th Appellate District.
Judge Jeff S. Taylor
was first elected as a Court of Appeals judge in November 2003 to represent the
2nd Appellate District and was re-elected in November 2006 to a full eight-year
Nearly all cases heard
by the Kentucky Court of Appeals come to it on appeal from a lower court. If a
case is tried in Circuit Court or District Court and the losing parties involved
are not satisfied with the outcome, they may ask for a higher court to review
the correctness of the trial court’s decision.
Some cases, such as
criminal case acquittals and divorces, may not be appealed. In a divorce case,
however, child custody and property rights decisions may be appealed. Cases are
not retried in the Court of Appeals. Only the record of the original court trial
is reviewed, with attorneys presenting the legal issues to the court for a
Fourteen judges, two
elected from seven appellate court districts, serve on the Court of Appeals. The
judges are divided into panels of three to review and decide cases, with the
majority determining the decision. The panels do not sit permanently in one
location, but travel throughout the state to hear cases.
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort supports
the activities of 3,800 Kentucky Court of Justice employees, including the
elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal
agent for the state court system, the AOC prepares a biennial budget draft and
executes the Judicial Branch budget.
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Silvey is candidate for PVA
Anthony Silvey has announced that he has filed a
letter of intent with the Registry of Election Finance as a Republican candidate
for the office of Lewis County Property Valuation Administrator.
Silvey was appointed in April by Governor Steve
Beshear to complete the term of Betty Ripato, who retired as PVA last December.
Silvey said that since taking office, he and the
staff have been working to make improvements and streamline processes for
property owners and those who utilize the PVA office for information. One of the
changes, he said, was to extend office hours by opening on Saturday mornings.
“The change give people an opportunity to visit
the office if their jobs don’t allow them to visit during the regular weekday
hours,” he said.
Another change was moving from a two-card to
one-card system for filing. He said the new system is more streamlined and
reduces time for research by requiring the clerks to retrieve the needed
information from one file rather than being stored in different locations.
“We also have a new website under construction
and a new mapping system in the works,” Silvey said.
The website will be going online soon and will
continually be updated. He said it will contain general information and more
features will be added over time. The updated mapping system allows for more
clarity and conforms with the new E-911 addressing system recently implemented
in the county.
Prior to serving as Lewis County’s Property
Valuation Administrator, Silvey was associated with Bivens and Silvey Realty and
Auction Service since 1985 and had worked as a principal broker for the past 20
Silvey is a lifelong Lewis County resident and
graduate of Morehead State University. He is a member of the Vanceburg United
Methodist Church, VFW Post 5438 and Stone City Masonic Lodge. He is a member of
the Comprehend Administrative Board and on the Board of Directors for People’s
He previously served on the Lewis County Tax
Board and Lewis County Board of Ethics, and is an eight year veteran of the Navy
Photo/Lewis County Herald
Silvey has announced he is a candidate for Lewis County Property Valuation
He is the son of Joyce Silvey of Vanceburg and
the late James Silvey.
Silvey credits his staff for their assistance
during the recent transition and during his time as PVA assisting with changes
in the office.
Debra Johnson, who is an 18 year employee, is
Chief Deputy Clerk; Dora Thomas, who has served for eight years, is Deputy
Clerk; and Roger Bivens II, who has 20 years in real estate appraisal
experience, was recently hired as a clerk.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the
residents of Lewis County as their PVA and welcome everyone’s input on how our
office can better accommodate their needs,” Silvey said.
“I appreciate all of the support and words of
encouragement and vow to continue to fulfill the duties of this office and
provide the best service possible to the people of Lewis County,” he added.
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