Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Newly named Superintendent of Mammoth Cave National Park, Barclay Tremble, addressed the Edmonson County Fiscal Court today in the last meeting of the month. Tremble, who has 26 years experience with the park, discussed several improvement projects that are either ongoing or planned for the near future.
He said upgrades are coming to the Houchin Ferry ramp area, some of which that were completed today, that will make it easier for canoers and kayakers to enter and exit the water. Although the ferry has been permanently closed for sometime, the area still has campgrounds and river access. The property is owned by MCNP which means county or city government have no authority as to how the property is used.
Other projects in the park include improvements to the Echo Springs trail, a new pedestrian bridge, the replacement of all 1100 light fixtures in the park, and the addition of two electric car charging stations.
Supt. Tremble also said the removal of dead and downed trees on the Nolin River is another project that is also happening. The popular spot for canoers, kayakers, and fishermen, has been impassable since the removal of Lock and Dam #6.
Judge Wil Cannon also reported that plans for the Corps of Engineers to turn over the property at the former Lock site is still in place. He said although the county doesn't have the funding to make improvements to the property, such as campsites, river access for paddle sports, and a picnic shelter, the Corps told him there could be possible grants available for such improvements.
In county office reports, Sheriff Shane Doyle reported that his office had been busy at the recent county fair which ended Saturday night, and luckily there were no major incidents. He also said that his office was in the process of adding retired U.S. Park Ranger Brad McDougal to the court security staff.
Finally, he addressed the issue brought up by Mag. Joe Durbin at the last meeting regarding requested assistance from the Sheriff's Office to Child Protection Services. Doyle was absent at the last meeting, attending the annual sheriff's conference.
During the last meeting, Mag. Durbin said someone from Child Support Services had complained to him that it was difficult for the office to receive assistance from the Sheriff's Office and Durbin brought it up in public. At the time, Chief Deputy Jeff Brooks answered Mag. Durbin and said that it was just like everything else with the Sheriff's Office, which depends on available manpower. Brooks said that regular policy was for law enforcement to assist child protection in cases where drug activity or violence is suspected and when the Sheriff's office was tied up on another call or shorthanded that KSP was to be dispatched. Brooks also said he couldn't answer as to what calls are answered and by whom, but he would pass along to the Sheriff.
In today's meeting, Sheriff Doyle addressed the issue.
"I spoke with Mary Lindsey, who is the supervisor of our local Child Protection Office," he said. "She told me there was no issue with getting help from our office on any kind of call, other than when we're responding to another emergency, which she understands, and she didn't know why someone from that office would say otherwise, so I'm not sure why that was said, but there are no problems with our offices getting together." No other comments were made and there was no further discussion.
County Clerk Kevin Alexander said 37 delinquent county tax bills were recently sold for an approximate total of $33K.
Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported there were currently 23 county inmates housed at Hart County Jail and one additional inmate on home incarceration.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. The meeting has been moved to Tuesday that week due to Columbus Day being on that Monday.