Cannon Discusses Crucial Window For High-Speed Fiber Optic Cables, Health Dept Tax Increases
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Fiscal Court met on Monday, August 27, 2018 in the upstairs courtroom at the courthouse. A special public meeting was held just before the regular meeting was scheduled in order to allow any discussion, questions, or comments regarding the vote to keep property tax rates the same as last year.
There were no public comments or discussion in the special meeting and the 2018 property tax rates were set same as last year.
The regular meeting commenced where the following county offices reported to the court:
Road Report: County Road Foreman Ray Page said that work had been completed in districts 6 and 4, and was nearing completion in district 5. He said district 3 road work is next on the schedule. County mowing crews are currently working in the north of the county and also added that road crews are planning to have all blacktop work for this year completed within the next 4-5 weeks due to fall weather conditions that are on the way.
Jailer Report: Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported 21 county inmates are currently being housed at the Hart County Jail. He also said that new jailer's van is now in possession and is being outfitted for use.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that two county deputies are undergoing state required training for sexual assault investigations.
Parks and Rec: Program Administrator John Kiernan said that the largest number so far has signed up for league soccer, which is a total of 111 kids, 40 more than last year. He said that concessions will be available for the first time during soccer this season. He added that the local baseball board is moving forward on a project that will replace backstops at HWY 70 park at a cost nearing $10,000. The board will cover approximately 60% of the cost with Parks and Rec covering the rest. The horseshoe state tournament will be held this weekend at Chalybeate Park where he said Parks Director A.B. Webb looks for about 120 participants.
Judge Wil Cannon discussed the upcoming public meeting regarding the state's Kentucky Wired project. The meeting has been scheduled in order for county residents to learn more about the current project that Cannon says has appeared to be held up by city officials. Cannon has said multiple times that this state-funded project has one short window of opportunity for coming to Edmonson County and if it's passed up there will not be another opportunity.
The project is supposed to provide a hub of high-speed fiber optic cables through the city of Brownsville to which other communication companies can connect in order to provide their services to the rest of the county. It is unlikely that the county will see any other internet options anytime soon without the project coming through Brownsville.
One city councilman recently told the Edmonson Voice that any construction done in the city for the project would have to fall under city franchise tax regulations for the company overseeing the project, which is SCRTC. The councilman said any company installing lines or providing new services in the city limits have had to pay the franchise tax and in order to be fair, SCRTC should also be required to pay it; however, Cannon said that the project is not just to benefit SCRTC only, they are simply the company contracted by the state to oversee the installation. Cannon said the company is not interested in paying the franchise tax, which is $5,000 per year, due to the fact the company isn't the only one that would be able to utilize the new lines. He said requiring SCRTC to pay the franchise tax will likely cause them to choose not to install the lines and move on, forfeiting Edmonson County's opportunity for better service countywide for possibly years to come.
Judge Cannon said the meeting, scheduled for September 4th at 6pm, is for the purpose of everyone being able to discuss the best options and how the project can continue in Brownsville. The meeting will be held in the Community Center.
The court also:
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 10, 2018 at 9am.