Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted to keep the property tax rate for the county the same as the previous year, which is 13.9 cents per $100 of assessed value. Judge Wil Cannon said the county had the option of taking the compensating rate which was a lower 13.5%; however, he said keeping rates the same would assist the county with keeping up with inflation costs.
Magistrates voted unanimously for no change in the rates from last year. The court agreed to schedule a public hearing for October 12th at 8:45am to give citizens the opportunity to speak for or against the vote before the final reading of the rate is passed. The property tax rate has remained the same in Edmonson County since at least 2016.
In other tax rates, representatives from the Edmonson County Public Library, Conservation District, and Extension Board also spoke to the court today, respectively. All three entities announced those individual tax rates would also be the same as last year.
Road Report: County Road Supervisor Greg Carroll said tiles had been replaced all over the county since the last meeting. He also said the road department had a recent a safety meeting that went well and that he wants to do them on a quarterly basis. He also discussed the purchase of a new pickup truck which was listed later in the agenda, and said for the past month workers have used their personal vehicles for picking up parts. He said he wouldn't ask the court unless it was needed. Magistrates later voted to allow the purchase, which was already budgeted in the road department fund of $40,000.
Emergency Management Report: EM Director Terry "Moose" Massey reported several emergency calls involving accidents, fires, and a short missing person case that ended quickly with no issues. He also said the county is currently working with Barren River District Health Department to have flu vaccine available for county residents.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said deputies have been experiencing high volumes of calls over the past few weeks and he updated the court on the situation with the City of Brownsville law enforcement, where he was asked to be interim supervisor of the one officer they have after the abrupt resignation of Jeff Jewell. He said he'd been researching stats and that out of all the city's criminal cases over the past year, the sheriff's office has actually opened up 25% more cases in the city than city officers did during that time. He said no long term agreement between the city and county had been made yet. He also reported that he was called by Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools Brian Alexander in regards to concerns about a supposed protest that was rumored to take place at Friday night's home football game. He said some had threatened to protest the game because the graduation ceremony for 2020 had been postponed again; however, he said what few people showed up to protest caused no issues. He added that most of those decisions are currently out of hands of school system; however, protests are legal as long as no laws are broken, no property is damaged, no traffic or events are impeded, and no permit is required to have one in Edmonson County.
County Attorney Report: County Attorney Greg Vincent reported former County Attorney Luther Norene’s funeral arrangements. Norene was Vincent's predecessor, who served 17 years as county attorney.
County Clerk Update: Clerk Kevin Alexander updated the court on the plan for the 2020 General Election practices, where there would be three ways to vote: 1. option of mail in ballot, which must be requested through govoteky.com thru October 9th. He said his office has not received ballots from state yet. 2. On Oct 13th, voters can vote early in-person in their office thru November 2nd during normal business hours, and finally, 3. On election day, all precincts will be open for standard in-person voting. Says a lot of folks have reached out and volunteered to work polling places of there were shortages. He also announced that the grace period for expired tags and licenses ends on Oct 6th.
Parks and Rec: Park Director A.B. Webb said that a youth soccer league coach recently tested positive for COVID-19, and that games were cancelled at that time as a safety precaution. He said the entire team was initially instructed to quarantine but there was a miscommunication of sorts and only the coach and his family were the only ones to do so. He added that new LED lights installed had been installed in local parks and the EC3 basketball league had continued their help with other park projects. Judge Cannon asked about donating the old lights to Lions Club, and Webb said he would be in favor; however, the Judge said he would look into restrictions that may be in play due to the old lights being county surplus.
Judge Cannon also described the old playground area in the courtyard facing Jackson Street that is currently being remodeled. He said the old equipment was removed, the rubber mulch was dug out and replaced with rock. He said the area would gain a few more parking spaces for county employees and a grass area was planned to be constructed. The playground was used by Head Start when it operated out of the Community Center but they've since moved.
The court also voted to: