• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

County clerk: no hunting, fishing licenses

County Clerk Sandy Jones told Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday that since Jan. 1, her office no longer sells state fishing and hunting licenses. Jones said she made the decision last year. "This was a difficult decision to make and I felt it was a necessary management decision that was made to best utilize the productive office time, and it is not a mandatory service that county clerks are required to offer," Jones said. Jones said she and her deputies have been asked an increasing number of questions about hunting and fishing licensing requirements without any training from the state Fish and Wildlife Department. "I told my customers who have inquired about purchasing (the licenses) that they can easily purchase their license on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website ..." Jones said. Jones said the website also offers valuable information on the wide array of licenses, some of which only cover one species and can change from year to year. Replacement licenses can be printed online for free and new ones are sold at Kmart, she said. Other options are available, too. Magistrate Gerald Dotson (Dist. 5) asked Jones, "Could you give an example of some of the regulations that your clerks aren't available to give to the citizens ...?" Jones said new authorization numbers were added last year without her office being notified. "There's different regulations with fowl, elk, the seasons change constantly. I mean, there are a lot of in-depth questions that if you're not a hunter ..." Jones said, before Dotson asked her about the $5 licenses for senior citizens. "They're not all that simple. If it were, it wouldn't be a decision to make, but there are all kinds of combos ..." Jones said. Dotson said he didn't know if customers would agree with her summation, adding, "But we'll give it a try." Pay raises County Attorney Alan George noted that state law requires the court to set salaries for the deputies of constitutional officers before May 1. That matter was taken care of early this year for the sheriff's department and county clerk's office, which submit their budgets on a calendar year basis. George suggested a motion to give deputies in his office and the coroner's and jailer's offices a five percent raise to match the pay hike magistrates project for other county employees for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. He noted that because the county budget may not be approved for another month or so, magistrates may decide to give other county employees a less-than five percent raise. A motion to match the pay hikes for the deputies in question with the raise given other county employees passed unanimously. EM disaster drill Emergency Management (EM) Director Drew Chandler said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given him permission to use a new integrated public alert system, which allows him to activate an alert targeting cell phones in a specific area. Chandler said he'll use it during the May 20 disaster exercise to let people at Falling Springs Arts and Recreation know that the exercise is just a drill. Courthouse, clock tower Maintenance Superintendent Rick Wade was asked during his brief presentation if there was any news on the evaluation of the clock tower and other portions of the courthouse deemed to be in bad shape. Wade said a "pretty comprehensive" report should be ready by the court's May 9 meeting, adding that he believed the problems were worse than he'd thought. A preliminary look showed eaves and cornices were in bad shape and gutters had standing water, he said. Wade said he may ask the court for a special meeting to approve the repairs, which in a previous meeting he said were urgently needed. Final words Earlier in the meeting, Judge-Executive John Coyle had gently and humorously chided George for speaking out of turn. Coyle closed the meeting with his traditional epigram, saying it was especially fitting this evening. "Some people are like clouds. When they go away, it's a brighter day," Coyle said. The courtroom erupted in laughter, knowing that Coyle and George are good friends and enjoy teasing one another.

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