Fiscal court gets busy organizing flood relief

Published 5:01 pm Thursday, August 4, 2022

JARED DARWISH

jared.darwish@bluegrassnewsmedia.com

Officials from Boyle County plan to make several relief trips during the next several months delivering much-need supplies to flood victims in eastern Kentucky.

That was the message in an emergency Boyle County Fiscal Court meeting on Wednesday Aug. 3.

“The goal of this meeting today is to discuss our efforts to help our eastern Kentucky friends and aid them in getting through what is probably the most historic disaster of flooding they can ever recall there,” said Judge-Executive Howard Hunt.

Boyle County began collecting donations of much-needed supplies on the day the floods hit eastern Kentucky. So far, county officials are happy with the amount of supplies they have collected, but many magistrates echoed Hunt’s sentiment that they intend to make multiple trips to eastern Kentucky in the coming months.

Magistrate Jason Cullen pointed out that similarly to the December tornadoes in western Kentucky that the recovery process is a marathon and not a spirit in terms of rebuilding. Throughout the meeting court members also emphasized the importance of donating needed items that are most needed, which are listed on the county Facebook page.

As for Boyle County’s initial response, officials sent down their first trailer full of first-aid and supplies after the meeting Wednesday. Also as of that day, Emergency Management Director, Brian Caldwell was already on his way to Eastern Kentucky to inform the county on how they could better assist their needs.

Magistrate Phil Sammons brought up the possibility of aiding their neighbors to the east with monetary funds as well.

“We’ve learned from the past that monetary funds are best because it allows for more equal distribution to all in need rather than a truck of supplies helping only one county,’’ Sammons said.

County Attorney, Chris Herron said he would explore drawing money from the general fund and if the court is allowed to make donations from it.

At the time of the meeting there were still more than 100 people missing and many others injured from the devastation, so Cullen suggested loaning an ambulance to the cause. The court was in agreement, and Cullen was to contact EMS Director Mike Rogers to see explore their options. 

Hunt announced to the court that he would be making a trip down to eastern Kentucky after the meeting and would give the court a better idea of the needs there.

In the interest of time, the court passed a motion to supply eastern Kentucky with whatever Hunt saw fit from his trip.

“I think this motion is important so that we can supply eastern Kentucky with whatever they need in a timely manner, that way we aren’t voting on what Judge Hunt suggests during our meeting a week from now,” Cullen said.