Court Also Discusses Renting Community Center Kitchen Daily To For-Profit Business
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court voted today to dedicate the fourth county road to a local veteran killed in action during military service.
Gerald Carroll of Mammoth Cave, presented a sign at today's fiscal court meeting, asking that the court dedicate Dickey’s Mill Rd to Private First Class Thomas Franklin Brooks (Frank) who was killed in action in WWII. Carroll said that PFC Brooks joined the army in 1941. There is currently a grave marker at Hill Grove Cemetery but no remains.
In July, The Edmonson Voice published a report from the Department of Defense, who sought family members for DNA testing in case PFC Brooks' remains were recovered.
A statement from the Department of Defense said:
Private First Class Thomas F. Brooks joined the U.S. Army in Kentucky and served with the 194th Tank Battalion in the Philippines during World War II. He was captured in Bataan following the American surrender and died of beriberi on December 10, 1942, at the Cabanatuan Prison Camp in Nueva Ecija Province. He was buried in a communal grave in the camp cemetery along with other deceased American POWs; however, his remains could not be associated with any remains recovered from Cabanatuan after the war. Today, Private First Class Brooks is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.
PFC Brooks grew up on Dickey's Mill Road, according to Carroll. The court voted unanimously to allow the road to be dedicated to the fallen soldier. The official ceremony has been scheduled for October 5, 2019 at 11am. More details will be released when further arrangements are made.
The court also discussed the possibility of renting the Community Center kitchen to a resident who plans to run a for-profit lunch delivery service, which would be rented at a cost of $15 per day. The resident said the facility would be used Monday thru Friday and sandwiches and other lunch foods would be available for delivery or pick up.
Magistrates asked several questions, discussed liability issues, and Judge Cannon said he felt like the rent would be better than the kitchen sitting vacant. One magistrate asked about insurance requirements, business licensing, and if it was even legal to rent out the facility to a for-profit business. Cannon said he'd suggest that if someone else wanted to rent the entire Community Center then that would take precedent over the rental of just the kitchen alone. The question was asked "If the business owner burns her hand in the kitchen, who's liable for those injuries?" The Judge said the county would be liable.
If the request is approved, it would mean a private business owner would be renting county-owned property at a daily rate for the purpose of running a business for approximately $180 per month. A motion was made my Magistrate Johnny Brooks to give authority to Judge Cannon to gather more details and present a recommendation to the court at the next meeting for a vote. That motion passed.
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll reported that crews had completed two tile installations and had finished paving projects in the lake and surrounding area. He said crews had to deal with several rude drivers, one of which that he said drove past the flagger into newly paved blacktop. He said the department has a few more projects coming up, weather permitting. He added that mowing crews are still working throughout the county and he mentioned an incident with a school bus on HWY 187, where mirrors were clipped and broken; however, no one was injured.
The county also voted later in the meeting to approve the purchase of a semi-truck--which was within the road department's budget--which is supposed to allow for more efficient equipment moving.
Emergency Manager Report: EM Director Terry Massey reported a calm two weeks with only one grass fire, one structure fire, and one vehicle accident.
Jailer Report: Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent said there were currently 24 county inmates housed at Hart County Jail, with no medical calls, and no one on home incarceration.
Sheriff’s Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said his office had seen a very busy two weeks since the last meeting, with more than 20 different arrests ranging from drug, warrants, and indictments. He also said he had purchased new firearms for all officers in the sheriff's office, funded by the office drug fund. Doyle said that the county sheriff's office first provided weapons to officers 11 yrs ago; prior to that, officers had to provide their own. The county first provided .40 Glock pistols, but over time, those pistols needed to be retired. He said that he had worked with Glock manufacturing directly and worked out a deal for 9mm models. He said the smaller caliber has been proven to be just as efficient, but with cheaper ammo and more available ammo. The Sheriff's office was able to either trade in the old service weapons or deputies could purchase them at fair market value. He said no tax payer funds were used for the purchase, thanks to the drug fund.
Parks and Rec Report: Park Director A.B. Webb said that league soccer is going strong and the new soccer field has been constructed and sown with grass.
POSSIBLE ROAD ORDINANCE CHANGES
Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that possible ordinance changes should be discussed after two private roads were recently denied into the county road system: Gail Court and Marvin Way, both in the Richland Subdivision off of New Grove Road (HWY 743).
Local businessman Jeff Rich, who developed Richland, said it was the second subdivision he's helped develop, and the list of requirements presented in order to accept the two roads were the first he'd ever seen.
"I thought I should’ve been given a plan and requirements when I first paid the fee to the planning commission, and I think that should be the case for anyone else asking to be included into the county road system," he said.
Cannon said he thought the commission now has the requirements posted online, but he was sure they weren't available online at the time Rich discussed.
Plastic tiles were also used in the subdivision, which was apparently another violation of the ordinance. Road Foreman Carroll also noted that plastic tiles were sufficient, despite the current ordinance that prohibits them, and he said from his point of view, they should be allowed. Rich noted that no one told him plastic tiles were prohibited. Cannon said the court must examine the current ordinance and look where they can change some items to make it more efficient and more inviting to developers to encourage county growth.
The county later went into closed session to discuss a possible property purchase and pending litigation, according to the agenda.