Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Several reports were heard and voted upon at today's fiscal court meeting in the upstairs courtroom of the Edmonson County Courthouse.
County Road Foreman Ray Page reported that his crews had been working on blacktop projects with completing current work schedules in two different districts. He also said road tile work is in preparation, specifically for Beaver Dam Church Road, which will consist of oversized tiles. Crews will wait until school is dismissed for the summer to help with traffic issues. In addition, he reported the new department wrecker is being used as he said the investment made by the county will pay off greatly.
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that lake patrol had begun in the Nolin area for the summer season. Nolin Lake pays the Sheriff's office overtime fees for the limited deputies that work extra hours in the area. He also said that the county inmate list could soon likely increase after last week's Grand Jury, which could result in new arrest warrants being served.
Doyle also discussed a surplus in his equipment budget that is funded by drug seizure money. He said that because Edmonson County is no longer part of the Drug Task Force, they no longer have to turn seizures over to be shared and that it stays in Edmonson County. Although handling of this money doesn't require approval by fiscal court, he asked the court for their opinion on how he spent the money, which is somewhere around $50,000. The money must be used only for equipment, training, and programs which invests seized money back into the local fight on drugs. He said it cannot be used for salary purposes.
He proposed purchasing a new patrol vehicle and computer/printer equipment for all patrol vehicles. He said being able to have computer and printing technology inside their vehicles will assist them in being more cost and time efficient. After a short discussion with Magistrate Joe Durbin, who argued that the school resource officer didn't need a new vehicle because he was in one spot throughout the day, Sheriff Doyle described school resource officer Jeff Brooks' duties.
Sheriff Doyle said that Brooks also patrols the property, other schools, and other areas. He added that Brooks was also the Chief Deputy and that his seniority was another reason for his vehicle. Doyle also said Brooks' car was one of the first things noticed when arriving at the high school and professionalism was important to his office. He said he didn't want a broken down patrol car with a bumper hanging off as the first thing you see at ECHS, which is what they would have if not for the recent vehicle purchases. Doyle also said Brooks patrols other places in the summer, when school is out.
The general consensus from the court was that it was a fund managed by the sheriff's office and that the sheriff should spend funds how he sees fit. Doyle said he just wanted the court and the public to know how he tries to operate the office from the administrative part as well as enforcement of the law. Doyle said the purchases would be no additional costs from fiscal court or taxpayers.
Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported 21 total county inmates housed at Hart County Jail with one on home incarceration.
The court also approved the following:
The court went into closed session to discuss possible legal action.