Boyle Fiscal Court discusses infrastructure
Published 11:35 am Thursday, July 20, 2023
Second in a series
BY LANCE GAITHER
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During the 2022 election, a question asked of the candidates running for positions on the fiscal court was how they would improve infrastructure throughout the county. With the current fiscal court having passed six months in office, Boyle County Judge-Executive Trille Bottom and magistrates Jason Cullen and Jamey Gay discussed the progress being made.
Bottom explained that the fiscal court has been approved for a grant to fix water drainage on Merchants Row in Perryville.
“They are going to provide drainage alongside Merchants Row,” Bottom said. “It will no longer flow across the roads, but will drain out possibly into the river or a storage tank.”
The county has received $700,000 from the state for discretionary road funding.
“We are going to paving several roads,” Bottom said. “We have already fixed lots and lots of pot holes. We have been out in the county looking at roads and tried to gauge which ones are worse than others and made a list of which needs improvement. We are working with Norfolk Southern to replace the Buster Pike bridge, It has been a slow process but it has been picking up speed. We are also working with the state to possibly get funding to build a new jail. We have hired a consultant for a preliminary design so we are working on the location and size. There is nothing definite yet.”
Gay explained that the American Rescue Plan Act has been vital to making improvements.
“Definitely a lot of work is being accomplished in that regard,” Gay said. “It is taxpayer money, but thanks to ARPA funding we have been able to make a lot of big improvements to bridges, roads, the courthouse, and our other facilities. We have invested some of it into water infrastructure.”
He said that many road improvements can’t be made by the county alone.
“A lot of road safety is advocacy work with state and federal representatives to get funding for highway improvements,” Gay said. “You have to be the squeaky wheel, all of us on the fiscal court have been advocating for that.”
Cullen said the fiscal court is always on the lookout for roads that need fixing.
“We are constantly looking at the roads out there, Cullen said. “Public Works does a great job of being proactive on fixing roads before they get bad. I have a traveled a lot and I can say Boyle County and Kentucky in general have pretty good roads compared to others I’ve been too.”
Road safety in particular is an important issue for Cullen.
“We need to start talking about some roads out in the first district,” Cullen said. “My goal right now is to get Highway 52 widened and safer. I have meeting with the state a lot and have been making that a priority. It is one of the most dangerous in the county. I hope they can widen and straighten out all the way out to Garrard County. A lot of people on that road are more concerned about their safety than losing some of their land to a road. I have several videos people have sent me of crashes out there, I’m surprised there haven’t been deaths out there. I also want to widen Highway 34, when there is a an accident or snowstorm that road gets bottlenecked and it is one of the major routes into Boyle County.”