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HomeLocal NewsLocal GovernmentFixing the roads:  County may not see full FEMA payout until next spring

Fixing the roads:  County may not see full FEMA payout until next spring

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

The big news this week may have been Governor Andy Beshear’s announcement that the county would be getting their matching share of FEMA funding covered by the state, but that doesn’t mean the county will see those full FEMA reimbursements right away. 

Judge Executive Mike Malone told fiscal court on Monday evening that even with their match in hand, their grant writer expects it will be sometime next year – most likely sometime in the spring – when the funds are finally released by FEMA. Even then the county won’t receive them right away, or directly from the federal agency. Instead they will be funneled through the state before being routed to the county. It’s a long and sometimes frustrating process for the county, as money released by FEMA then sits in Frankfort, waiting to be released again to the local level. 

What makes it even more frustrating – especially for cash strapped communities like Carter County – is that the county must spend the funds on repairs before FEMA will reimburse those funds. For counties without cash on hand this usually happens through low interest Kentucky Association of Counties (KACO) loans, or other low-interest loans, that the FEMA funds are then used to pay off. But it’s the process every Kentucky county and community must go through following these types of emergencies. 

What the county will be getting much more quickly is the $194,000 in Kentucky Transportation Cabinet funds for repairs to Tygart Creek Road. Those funds were part of Beshear’s check presentation to the county last week, and they will be utilized for repaving and repairs to that road right away. 

Fiscal court adopted a KYTC Resolution relating to the disbursement of those funds on Monday evening, and approved an agreement related to the resolution, to begin the process. 

In other road news, the court approved a request from a property owner along Isaac Cemetery Road to change the name of that road to Hunter’s Moon Ridge. The property owner who petitioned for the name change said while there is a small cemetery along the road, it is not maintained or used for modern burials, and there are no members of the Isaac family buried in the cemetery. Because of the name, though, it does cause confusion for some people looking for an Isaac family plot. The court voted unanimously to approve the name change. 

The court also heard from residents along Pope Hollow Road about needed repairs to the road. 

A slip along the road, following heavy seasonal rains, was repaired earlier in the year but the road itself was already in rough shape. The trucks that brought rocks and fill material for the slip repair just made the already rough road worse. Road department head Jason Carroll told the court and the residents that work on the road would begin soon, but it would not be a full repaving. Instead, he said, they would likely “skip patch” the worst spots and fill any potholes. Funds for a full resurfacing of the road were requested, but the transportation cabinet didn’t choose to fund that project at the same time as the Tygart Creek Road project. 

The county also heard again from a homeowner along Tal Road and, after hearing the court’s report on the road, moved to begin the process of formally removing Tal Road from the county road system. 

In other action the court heard department reports, discussed changes to the administrative code to update language and keep the code consistent across statutes and voted to set the pay rate for an employee of the county – retroactive to hire date – following an executive session to discuss the matter. 

The court also heard from a former jail employee, who resigned on good terms, requesting payment of COVID related bonus pay for essential employees for the time he worked for the jail. While the employee did work for a portion of the time covered under the bonus pay period set by the county, he had resigned before the county approved the extra pay. Judge executive Malone said they would consider the request and make a decision at the next regular meeting of fiscal court. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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