Front Page History: Parks & Rec, jail were on the front-burner 44 years ago, too

Published 9:05 pm Monday, May 13, 2019

Forty-four years ago today, in 1975, magistrates of the Boyle County Fiscal Court were discussing some of the same issues that are being discussed today — parks and recreation, the jail and taxes.

A letter sent to fiscal court by the chairman of the Danville-Boyle County Recreation Board, Norman Bartleson, stated the board had voted to ask the city and county to dissolve the joint recreation department effective Sept. 1. The letter stated that the board felt there would be better recreation programs “if they are solely governed by each body in itself. … They also feel there will always be a need for cooperating in some aspects.”

The court decided not to take action until they could discuss the request with city officials.

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The courthouse renovation and expansion project was going to cause disruption in the sheriff’s and county clerk’s offices, so magistrates worked on temporary work around solutions.

First, the court approved advertising for bids on the destruction of the jail and workhouse, which had to be torn down before the new courthouse addition construction could begin.

County Clerk John B. Nichols told the court that he had been given permission to use the county courtroom for part of his offices when the back rooms of his current offices were closed for renovation.

Harney Construction Co. was given the contract to cut a door into the courtroom from Nichols’ offices. If the door wasn’t going to be sealed after the project was completed, the cost was going to be $212.

Harney also submitted a bid to construct a 99-foot wall between the courthouse property and Joe Frankel’s parking lot on Third Street. Action wasn’t taken because Frankel had not signed a deed to sell a small portion of land in the back of his lot to the county.

At that time, the county had a right-of-way through Frankel’s lot but during negotiations, the court had agreed to build a wall or fence between the property and close the county’s right-of-way through Frankel’s property.

A bid of $196.02 from Harney Construction for tile for the new jail’s kitchen floor was accepted. Provisions for the tile were not in the original contract with Harney.

During construction at the courthouse, the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office had to be relocated. The court approved paying Wince Rogers $225 a month rent for three rooms in the Lynn building at the corner of Fourth and Broadway. Sheriff Mickey Harmon said the rent would include heat, but not water or electricity. Rogers was also going to install a restroom and paint the rooms before the sheriff’s office would move.

In other business, the sheriff’s tax settlement was accepted. The total amount of the 1974 taxes that had been collected through April was $330,017.95 which was 99.06 percent of the tax bills. Unpaid taxes was a total of $3,135.48. The sheriff told magistrates that more than $2,000 could be collected because there were tax liens on the property.

The Danville City Council was also working to improve conditions in downtown.

An ordinance was passed which reduced the time a person had to pay a parking ticket after receiving it. It changed the time of paying the $5 fine from 30 days to 48 hours. After two days, the fine would increase to $25.

A Danville resident requested that appointments to the community development groups be made from a list of names of African Americans that were submitted. She also presented the city council with a petition from the Black Student Union at Danville High School, asking for a sidewalk along South Second Street between Batewood Homes and Jacob Street. Mayor Roy Arnold said he would call this to the attention of Kentucky School for the Deaf, which owns the property in that area.