Fiscal court gives additional ARPA funds to new fire station; court hears ethics complaint, retirement announcements

Published 6:06 am Thursday, December 1, 2022


The fiscal court voted at their Nov. 22 meeting to allocate an additional $150,000 to help the fire department build its new station near Northpoint Training Center.

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The department had originally estimated the new facility would cost $250,000. The court had previously given them $200,000 of ARPA funds for the project.

However, the project will cost more than estimated due to rising costs of building materials. Magistrate Jason Cullen said the department had bids for construction come in at about $400,000.

Cullen and Magistrate John Caywood are part of the ARPA committee. They agreed during the fiscal court meeting to recommend this use of ARPA funds. The court then voted unanimously to approve the allocation.

Judge Executive Howard Hunt said the county will still have about $1 million of ARPA funds left.

The court heard about an ethics complaint about a property owner who wants to serve on the Fire Protection District board, who is also an active firefighter in another district.

The board of the Fire Protection District is made up of seven members. Two are active firefighters; and two must be property owners of real property subject to the fire protection district’s tax rate, and are not active firefighters.

The ethics committee’s opinion sided with the county attorney’s office. Assistant County Attorney Patrick Barsotti said the rule plainly states that one can’t be a firefighter, even in another district, and serve as the property owner representative. This protects the taxpayers from having an all-firefighter board which could raise taxes.

The court will give an option to let the person involved in the complaint tell their side of the argument. A hearing may be held soon.

In other business, the court:

• Changed their meeting schedule in December. Instead of meetings on Dec. 13 and 27, they will be on the 6th and 20th.

• Announced that Public Works Director Duane Campbell is retiring at the end of the year. The court will be honoring him for his decades of service in an upcoming meeting.

• County Administrator Julie Wagner’s term as deputy judge is ending in January; the incoming judge executive, Trille Bottom can appoint a new deputy judge.

• Magistrate Phil Sammons’ term as KACo president will be ending this year. He said it was an honor to serve Kentucky counties, especially helping after the tornadoes last December and the flooding this past summer.

• Magistrate Tom Ellis was appointed to the Perryville Battlefield Commission.

• Cullen said he has heard requests for cameras to be put up by the train tracks on Faulkner Lane to notify people if trains are blocking the road. Since Buster Pike bridge will be down for several months, people will have to take a long detour to another bridge if trains are blocking the road.

Cullen said it would be a $3,000 to $5,000 initial investment to put two cameras up, and $40-50 a month after that to have constant monitoring. The county would have to come up with those funds.

• Forkland’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Dinner will be held on Saturday, December 3.

• The court heard a report about how the new Fleet Management person Tommy Robertson has saved the taxpayers money by being a full time maintenance and repairman for the county’s vehicles.

• Ellis said his district had a chimney fire. He explained that chimney fires are caused by soot or creosote that builds up in the chimney, and that only an 1/8 inch of creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire. He reminded people to inspect their chimneys and have them cleaned annually.