State's Rural Secondary Road Program Will See $1.1M, Extra Discretionary Funds Will Amount To $523K
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
More than $1.6 million dollars is coming to state roads within Edmonson County, thanks to both extra discretionary funds, that was first announced in April of 2019, and KY's Rural Secondary Road Program funding for 2020.
Joe Plunk, Chief district engineer for the KY Transportation Cabinet's District 3, addressed the Edmonson County Fiscal Court today to discuss how the funding was broken down for the county.
He said that a total of $523,053 in unexpected discretionary funds are coming to Edmonson County for roads and improvements to the Brownsville bridge. Repairs will be made to repair six different roads, which include: Mt. Zion Road, Oak Hill Road, Salem Church Road, Mohawk Road, Long Road, and Crump Road. He noted that $181K of the amount will be used for the North Main Street Bridge over Green River in Brownsville, which serves 7,000-8,000 vehicles a day. Repairs will address signs of aging on the sidewalk and bridge railing to maintain the safety of the bridge for pedestrians. He noted there were currently no structural problems with the bridge.
For the Rural Secondary Program, $369K will be used for routine maintenance on nearly 89 miles of state roadway in Edmonson County, while more than $530K will be used for a complete overhaul and rebuild of the Bear Creek Bridge on KY 238 (Sunfish-Bee Spring Road). Mr. Plunk said the project will cause a 60-day closing of the area that is scheduled to take place later this year. Estimated time of repair on the Brownsville bridge will be the summer of 2020.
He said $103K was carried over from last year's program for a total of $1,102,552 for the Edmonson County state road program.
In addition to Mr. Plunk's comments, other discussions were had as county offices gave their regular reports.
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said that crews worked on clearing up to two inches of snow in some parts of the county as a result of Thursday night's snowfall. He said 50 tons of salt were used during the weather event. He also noted that more than 3 inches recently fell that closed the four, flood-prone bridges in the county. He also reported crews had installed tiles, and completed ditch/rock work in various parts of the county.
Sheriff Report: Sergeant Wally Ritter gave the Sheriff's Report in the absence of Sheriff Doyle, who recently had shoulder surgery and is recovering. He said the sheriff's office is still severely under-manned and is relying on special volunteer deputies to assist with calls.
Jailer Report: Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported 28 inmates currently at Hart County Jail with 3 on home incarceration.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander reported on the recent results of a state audit, which he said were excellent, overall. He said only one comment resulted in a negative connotation, which was lack of segregation of duties.
Coroner Report: County Coroner Brentley Esters reported that his office handled 41 deaths in the county last year. He noted none of the causes of death were out of the ordinary.
Jail Budget Passes: $571K
The fiscal court also passed the Edmonson County Jailer's Budget for 2020, in the amount of $571,600, which was $85K more than last year's budget. The budget also listed $430K of the amount going towards outside contracted jail costs since Edmonson County has no jail.
The budget passed with little discussion; however, Judge Executive Wil Cannon noted that he had attended recent meetings regarding a potential regional jail that could possibly serve four counties: Edmonson, Butler, Ohio, and McLean. Jail talks always prompt reactions from the community from those in favor of the county building its own jail; however, Cannon said the most recent projections on a 200 bed facility would cost $20 million to build, which wouldn't include the cost of personnel, operating expenses, and other unknown costs. With a budget of $571K, he noted that the county could not afford to build its own, but a regional jail might be a possibility several years in the future, which would likely be located in Morgantown.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 24, 2020 at 9am.