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Cleaning up: Fiscal court hears disaster update, approves flood repair loan

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

First came the ice. Then came the floods. Now, the cleanup and repairs. 

Carter County Fiscal Court heard disaster updates during their regular monthly meeting Monday night. This included updates on the progress of ice storm damage cleanup, flood damage, and FEMA assistance. While cleanup of the ice storm debris continues apace on county roads, with contractors working to make sure the county has what they need to be reimbursed by FEMA, the county also has a plan to use FEMA funds to repair some flood related damage. 

That damage, mostly slips and related earth movement that compromised roadways, may also qualify for FEMA reimbursement. But the county has to cover a portion of the total cost before FEMA will reimburse them. The court approved a plan that will help do that with a measure that authorized the county to take out a loan to cover those costs. 

The zero percent interest loan through KACO, the Kentucky Association of Counties, will cover $500,000 in repairs. 

Following an executive session where they discussed employee issues and real estate transactions, the county moved to spend another $500,000 on a property located at 1528 North Highway 7. In the lease-to-buy deal, the county will pay a $5,000 monthly lease on the property until the current third party contractor using the location is finished with their work and an environmental survey of the property has been completed. 

The court also held a public hearing on the vacation of Pottery Lane. The county road, located off of US 60 near Carter Caves, will be kept in the county road system after several residents turned out with comments requesting the road be kept in the county system. 

The court also heard requests, and began the process, to remove portions of Horsehoe Drive and Pleasant Valley Avenue from the county road system. 

In other action the court moved to approve funding for weekend staff at the Grayson and Olive Hill fire departments (see “Fighting Fire” in this issue), authorize the judge executive to sign documents related to improvements on SR 773, and for the acceptance of rural and secondary road funds from the state. They also moved to approve claims and transfers, to hire Adam Stapleton as the Emergency Management Director and setting his rate of pay, to approve the purchase of up to 250 tons of road salt at auction for use next winter, and accepted department reports. 

Joe Lambert, in his E911 report, noted that the dispatch was receiving a lot of fire calls in the county, which is typical for the season. He noted that overdose calls have also been on the rise recently. 

New EM director Stapleton noted that his department needed road vests, which the judge executive agreed to look for at a surplus retailer. 

In his report, Carter County jailer R.W. Boggs requested the judge-executive look for a surplus wood chipper that can be used by inmate clean-up crews for assisting in road clean-up. Boggs said his department may have the funds available to purchase a chipper outright, depending on costs. Boggs also requested, and received permission, to purchase a new SUV using commissary funds to cover the cost. Boggs also asked about selling surplus vehicles owned by the jail and requested the ability to alter starting pay “within his budget” to help attract and retain new staff. 

The court moved to take the request under advisement and to revisit it at their next regular meeting. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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