Edmonson Voice Staff
Darren Doyle, photos
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court met on Monday, October 13, 2014 and discussed items regarding Mammoth Cave National Park facilities and the current status of Houchins Ferry. Mr. E. Lee Davis, President of Mammoth Cave National Park Association, along with Bobby Bunnell, Assistant Secretary of the organization, discussed the importance of hotel and restaurant facilities within the park. Their organization is a watchdog for Park Service activities and reports on various funded activities that effect local tax payers. Mr. Davis said that a committee in California has authority over the type of hotel and restaurant facilities that are in the park and that his organization has a resolution to oppose the current system. He discussed the economic benefits that building new facilities would bring to the area as opposed to moderately remodeling the current facilities. The resolution was handed out to the court and upon approval, would be sent to Congressman Brett Guthrie, as well as Senators Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, and various lobbying groups. The main purpose of the resolution is to put local decision making back into the hands of local groups.
Judge Reed suggested opposing the US Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act for Edmonson County as it would include county ditching and draining within the act. This would require permits for ditching and draining, would cause increased costs and construction delays and mentioned that Edmonson County has always acted responsibly for water quality and conservation. The court voted and agreed to oppose.
A letter in reply to Brett Guthrie’s request to the Department of Interior to continue the operation of Houchins Ferry from the US Park Service was read. The letter claimed that the ferry was neither the property of Edmonson County nor the Commonwealth of Kentucky and was under full jurisdiction of the Park Service. At this time, the ferry will not be re-opened for the following reasons: 1. Budget cuts, 2. Costs too much to operate the ferry, 3. The Green River Bridge and Nolin Dam provide alternate routes, and 4. The ferry equipment is outdated and will cost a half-million dollars to replace. The Fiscal Court wanted the record to show that it opposed the letter and will continue to fight for the reopening of Houchins Ferry.
The court approved a federal grant that will allow the local dispatch center to receive $70,000 in upgraded equipment as well as:
Approved 9/14 Financial Report, the Judge’s Quarterly Report, the Sheriff’s Excess Fees Report pending final audit, approved a Road Dept Safety Meeting for 10/30, and set the speed limit for Browning Road at 40 MPH.
The court also approved Sheriff Wil Cannon’s report. The sheriff said tax bills will go out on October 31. He also said school resource officer Jeff Brooks confiscated some marijuana at one of the schools, and acting on a tip, found more in another location in Rocky Hill. Sheriff Cannon also reported there had been 24 traffic citations, 18 courtesies, 8 vehicle searches, 14 accidents, 14 motor assists, and that the department answered 195 total calls.