Court moves forward on Huntertown park
Woodford Fiscal Court voted 7 to 1 Tuesday to buy $3,310 worth of materials to build two bridges and install or repair 1,400 feet of fence in the Huntertown Community area for a long-anticipated rural park. County Road Engineer Buan Smith had been tasked with coming up with an estimate for a pedestrian foot bridge over the creek and fence around the west and north sides of the property. His estimate was for a 16-foot-long, 3-½ foot-wide walkway with a bridge deck - small enough to deter the ATV riders who aren't supposed to be on the property. Sheriff Wayne Wright had suggested a bridge wide enough for emergency vehicles. Smith said that could be constructed over the top of culverts, and the motion was shaped to allow $500 for materials for the emergency-access bridge. Magistrate Gary Finnell (Dist. 3) voted no, saying he didn't believe the park needed two bridges. Smith said he believed it would take workers a month to clear all the brush "sitting since 2004" in order to install the fence. Snow dilemma Smith also presented the court with a more difficult choice caused in part by an unusually mild winter: With the snow barn full, what to do about the 400 tons of salt the county must buy by the end of April and receive by the end of the year. Smith said a representative of Cargill told him if the deal is extended and the company has to store the salt on its own property, the county might be charged $10 a ton per month beginning next January. If the county extends the contract with Cargill to lock in the price and prepare the county for the average of 1,000 tons of salt it typically goes through each winter, Smith could order another 400 tons. Considerable debate ensued. Smith said one possibility was to purchase a $2,000 60-by-120-feet tarp to cover the salt elsewhere on county property. County Attorney Alan George asked Smith if the Cargill employee had only said the company "might" charge the storage fee, to which he said yes, adding that the present contract had no such language. Magistrate Ken Reed (Dist. 4) asked if Smith had checked with other, nearby county road departments. Judge-Executive John Coyle said he'd ask the County Judge-Executive Association to send an email asking other counties if they'd like to purchase the salt, which the county bought, according to Smith, at $64 or $65 per ton. Clock tower Maintenance Superintendent Rick Wade told the court that two structural engineers had inspected the clock tower atop the courthouse and masonry work on a corner of the building. Wade said some parts of the clock tower were in "advanced stages of rotting," and that overall, the tower was in "pretty sad shape." No action was taken. In the fall of 2015, the court put a line item in the county budget to borrow $400,000 through the Kentucky Association of Counties to repair the tower, but no official estimates have been made. County leaders have identified renovating the clock tower as a priority this year, and with financial reports from Treasurer Sabra Garmon showing a much better bank balance than in past years, will find it easier to pay for the work. Sycamore home clean-up Wright wasn't at the meeting, but passed word that he'd been able to reach the owner of a home on Ravenwood Drive in Sycamore Estates that neighbors had complained about. The woman, who doesn't live in the home, has signed a contract with a lawn company to begin to clean the place up. Complaints about the state of the grounds and garbage bag-packed garage of the home were brought up in two previous meetings. After the yard was cleaned up, Wright told the owner, who doesn't live in Woodford County, that inspectors would take a look inside. Old Kroger tenant? In response to a question from Magistrate Gerald Dotson (Dist. 5), Woodford Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chairman John Soper said he'd communicated with an "active, non-retailer" considering the old Kroger building. Soper said he believed the lease was up in March. He also gave the court an update on the progress of three major employers. At Midway Station, American Howa Kentucky is hiring now and will open in July, and Lakeshore Learning Materials will begin bringing in the school supplies it distributes in late October and will ship them out within four days. Soper said employment at More Than A Bakery will "ramp up" in June and July for a November start.