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Letters to the editor

Important meetings Editor, The Sun: For your readers who own farm lands, pasture lands or open lands in Woodford County, important meetings will be held on Monday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m. and again Tuesday, July 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Agriculture Resource Building on Beasley Road. The purpose is to provide information to all who own farm, pasture or open lands on a new opportunity that is coming to Woodford County. The Woodford Rural Land Board (WRLB) was established by ordinance by the fiscal court on July 14, 2009. The purpose of the WRLB is "to receive donated conservation easements; to acquire funding for the purchase of conservation easements in Woodford County (including properties that may be in Woodford and adjacent counties); and to develop the policies that will guide the acquisition and administration of conservation easements." After several years of hard work, the WRLB hopes to acquire a first round of funding within the next six to 18 months. At these meetings, farm land owners who have questions about the purchase of agricultural conservation easements can find answers as to how the Woodford County program will work. Farm land owners will be able to indicate their interest in participating in this program. As with the state of Kentucky PACE Board as well as the Rural Land Management Board in Fayette County and the Purchase of Development Rights Program in Scott County, "landowners may voluntarily sell agricultural conservation easements to public entities to protect the land from being converted to other uses. After selling an easement, the landowner retains other rights of ownership including the right to farm the land, prevent trespass, sell bequeath or otherwise transfer the land." Lori Garkovich Versailles Emergency? Editor, The Sun: The following timeline is an account of the actions taken by the Woodford County Fiscal Court after an emergency was declared for courthouse repairs. March 14 - County Maintenance Superintendent Rick Wade is authorized to seek assessment of clock tower by engineering company (BFMJ). April 11 (four weeks later) - BFMJ reports findings to fiscal court on clock tower and quoins. An emergency is declared. Wade is directed to get estimates for "immediate repair." May 23 (six weeks later) - Fiscal court votes to accept Congleton/Hacker bid to $900,000 to make repairs and include new (first mention) copper roof. May 31 - Fiscal court accepts Congleton/Hacker's official bid of $898,000 (not including BFMJ's $99,000) and rejects proposal to seek any alternative bids. Ethan Buell of BFMJ said "asking for another bid from a second contractor would add at least a week to the courthouse work." Should we not question why an "emergency" repair ensured no other bids yet did not warrant immediate action? Eddie Galbreath Versailles

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