Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County is hoping to receive FEMA aid funding for local work handled by the Edmonson County Road Department during both the winter storms in February and the recent flooding that currently has lingering effects in some parts of the county.
In today's virtual fiscal court meeting via Zoom, County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll discussed the recent flooding that not only put all four of Edmonson County's low-lying bridges underwater, but also for an extended period of time.
Carroll said more than a foot of mud had washed up on one bridge, several road tiles were washed out or damaged throughout the county, and asphalt on some county roads were damaged during the flooding. He said the county will seek funding from FEMA to help cover the costs of the damages that are estimated to be around $500,000 for the flooding alone. He added that overtime pay and other resources used during the winter storm were estimated to be around $80,000.
The court also acknowledged a local state of emergency declared by Judge Executive Wil Cannon that was issued during the flooding. There was no current information on when officials will receive word on any projected federal funding for both emergencies.
Sheriff's Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office had received part of the new radios provided through emergency government COVID funding and that he was working with Edmonson County 911 Communication Director Pat Prunty in the process. Doyle said the project has gone well so far and that six more cruisers would be getting the new radios installed. He also thanked ECHS for the use of their auto mechanic shop for the installation.
He also asked the court to help find a better solution to the problem faced with transporting some prisoners that are supposed to be medically cleared before being accepted at Hart County Jail. Doyle said that the Jailer's protocol, which is guidance from the state jailer's association, in addition to following regulations at the jail, allows them to sometime refuse to transport a prisoner that has been involved in an accident if they have not been medically cleared.
Doyle used one example where a man arrested was recently involved in an accident but uninjured and he refused medical treatment. He said that a transportation officer refused to transport the prisoner because he'd not been released from a medical facility. This forced an on-duty deputy to take the prisoner to an out-of-county hospital for evaluation, keeping the deputy unavailable to the county, even though it was unnecessary because the prisoner was uninjured. He said this also forces the county to have to pay overtime to deputies, which isn't in the budget for these scenarios.
He also noted that he wasn't blaming the local jailer's office, as they were following the protocol as instructed, the same as his office follows guidance from the Sheriff's Association; however, he asked Judge Cannon and the magistrates to help figure out a better solution that works for Edmonson County than a blanket policy that only works in theory in some places.
Jailer Report: Judge Wil Cannon reported that there were currently 17 county inmates housed at Hart County Jail with one on home incarceration.
County Clerk Report: County Clerk Kevin Alexander said his office had completed another audit where there were no violations, other than the standard 'delegation of duties,' which occurs due to the small size of the office personnel. He also updated the court on the county's voter redistricting process, which could be hindered due to the delay of the latest census results; however, he said his office will continue to do what they can in the process and will continue to give updates.
Parks and Rec: Judge Cannon said the annual Park and Rec Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled to take place this year after the event was cancelled in 2020. Cannon said with school opening back up to four days per week, the county feels that the event can be held safely. According to Parks and Rec Program Director John Kiernan, the event is scheduled for Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 11AM. Stay connected to the VOICE to find out more about this event later in the week.
The court also voted to:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for March 22, 2021 at 9AM and will be held virtually, via Zoom audio and video.