Darren Doyle, story and photo
The hot topic of this week's Fiscal Court meeting was the Blue Holler ATV Park that we reported earlier, but there was also plenty of other business discussed.
Emergency Management Director Pat Prunty reported that the county had been awarded a federal grant from FEMA that would reimburse expenses incurred during the first snowstorm of 2015. "We didn't qualify for any help on the second storm, but on the first one, we did. We'll meet with FEMA in a couple weeks and see what we can get," he said. "Anything we get is better than what we had before, so it will be positive."
Prunty said that any government entity can apply for this type of assistance, but from the documentation he saw, he said that the grant would be applied to county road department expenses, as the grant was for the purpose of snow removal.
Parks and Rec Update
Greg Hudson, Parks and Rec Special Events Coordinator, reported that the Freedom Fest cancelled earlier this month has been rescheduled for Labor Day Weekend. We'll have more details in another story. He also said that he had been working with Studio DD, the parent company of EdmonsonVoice.com, to build a website for Parks and Rec. The website will feature photos and info from each of the three county parks, contact information, and a list of all the upcoming events that have been added to the program. He spoke of having "Halloween in the Park," Easter Egg hunts, day camps, a summer concert series, and cooperation with the tourism board and extension agent to help promote all events in the county. We'll have more on this when the website is launched.
State Fair Booth
Tourism Director Rhonda Clemmons reported that there were plenty of volunteers that signed up to help with the county's booth at the upcoming state fair. In the past, she said she'd worked as many as 10 days in a row at the fair by herself, so this was a great help to her as well as for the promotion of Edmonson County.
Rocky Hill Gas Plant
Judge Cannon reported there had been no further action taken with Hellervik Oil and the Rocky Hill Gas Plant. Hellervik is the only active plant seeker looking for industrial bonds from the county. He noted there may be more potential buyers, but no others seeking bonds.
Sidewalk Project Begins This Week
The sidewalk project on the north side of the courthouse will be underway this Wednesday. Cannon said the entire area would be blocked off for the construction process and could take throughout the rest of this week to complete.
Coroner Adjusts Resignation Date
County Coroner Michael Alexander, who recently and reluctantly resigned over a conflict of interest in his state retirement fund has asked the county to adjust the date of the resignation from August 1, to August 31. He also recommended the court appoint Brently Esters who is currently serving as a volunteer deputy coroner.
Esters is a certified coroner with 5 years experience in Warren County. Judge Cannon, by executive order, appointed Esters as County Coroner beginning September 1 until a special election will be held in November of 2016. Cannon asked for approval from the magistrates, although not necessary for executive order. Magistrates unanimously approved.
Fiscal Court Night Meeting Discussed
Judge Cannon said due to a large number of citizens that have requested night Fiscal Court meetings to better accommodate daily work schedules of residents, he recommended having one night meeting per quarter to test the popularity. The item of business will be on the August 10th agenda for a vote.
Judge Cannon said he wanted to form a committee to research other counties' zoning laws, compare them, and come up with a custom-fit plan for Edmonson County. Mag. Buck Simmons said a committee was not needed, he already knew how he would vote on industrial zoning. Cannon said a committee was necessary.
Cannon also announced a public hearing for discussion of two possible new taxes, an extension agent tax, and a health department tax. We will have the formal announcement in another section of EdmonsonVoice.com.
Speed Limit On County Roads
The court previously discussed setting all speed limits to 35mph on all county roads. Cannon said this may not be the best plan as his opinion was some roads are safely driven at 45mph, others at 25mph. The general discussion was to research specific roads and make adjustments to the speed limits as they seem necessary.