Court approves Jouett House hemp program
Woodford Fiscal Court voted 7 to 0 Tuesday to allow Jack Jouett House Director Jill Roseberry to begin a process that could result in hemp being grown there - just as it likely was in Jouett's day. Magistrate Duncan Gardiner (Dist. 6) was absent. The Kentucky Hemp Heritage Alliance, which has overseen 33 crops of hemp since 2014, would assist in the state application process, with a typical plot being 100 square feet. Roseberry said the $400 cost is in the center's budget, and the crop would require little to no maintenance. Roseberry said directors at Ashland and Farmington told her they've had only positive outcomes from growing the crop, and that Farmington has seen a 46 percent increase in visitors since 2014. The commitment would be for only one year, and Roseberry noted that hemp, unlike its cousin, marijuana, has no psychoactive properties. The court also unanimously approved her request to have the Jouett House join the Kentucky Hemp Heritage Alliance on the Kentucky Hemp Heritage Trail, as well as the annual $111 termite contract for the Jouett House with Allrite of Lexington. Courthouse renovation Maintenance Superintendent Rick Wade updated the court on the progress of the $1 million courthouse renovation project and the accident Thursday, Sept. 21, that sent a worker tumbling 20 or so feet to the third floor (see story on page 6). Wade said the employee is back at work now. Painting should be done by mid-week next week and the scaffolding will come down in two weeks, Wade said. Griers Creek Bridge Road Engineer Buan Smith said work on the Griers Creek Bridge should begin on Oct. 2 and be finished by Dec. 1, though the work could take two weeks longer. Emergency management Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler received the court's unanimous approval to apply for federal reimbursement for the $159,551 cost of buying a property on Lower Clifton Road. The grant is part of the fed's severe repetitive loss program, which is designed to buy out properties in oft-flooded areas. He also received unanimous approval to apply for a grant that would pay 87 percent of the cost of a $115,000 generator for the courthouse. The present generator, he said, was insufficient for normal business. In response to a question, Wade said he didn't believe the new generator could also adequately power the Courthouse Annex. Woodford opioid response County Attorney Alan George spoke for several minutes at the end of the meeting about the county's response to the opioid crisis. He said that there appeared to be a belief among some that the county is not doing enough to combat the problem. "But in my opinion, the uninformed opinion that is circulating may exist at least in part because, unlike some other prosecutors and law enforcement officials, ours don't routinely call press conferences to draw attention to the work being done. I think our prosecutors, our law enforcement officials, quietly go about doing their jobs," George said. George noted that the county has the longest-running DARE program in the state, successful drug courts and jail programs, and a few years ago, helped close a pill pipeline to Florida.