Court signs on to opioid lawsuit
Woodford Fiscal Court voted unanimously Tuesday for a resolution making the county a party to a lawsuit against manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain medications. Eight law firms are involved in the suit. A representative of one of them said that two former Drug Enforcement Agency agents interviewed in last week's "60 Minutes" piece about the problem were working for the firms. Under the terms of the legal services agreement, plaintiffs would receive 30 percent of the gross settlement or court winnings, with no fee charged for no recovery. Brown Forman warehouses The court voted unanimously to hold a first reading for the latest set of industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) that allow for a property tax abatement for Brown Forman's new warehouses in Midway. The bonds are worth up to $27 million and are part a $120 million issuance for a dozen warehouses. Mark Franklin of the law firm Stoll, Keenon and Ogden told the court that the first two warehouses and a transfer facility have already been constructed, and one of the warehouses held 37,000 barrels. Franklin noted that while the bonds allow the company a property tax break, the distillates inside the barrels are subject to county taxes. Magistrate Ken Reed (Dist. 4) asked whether the company could use grain from Woodford County. A company official said the company did use some corn from Henton Farms here, and that she'd look into the matter. The second reading on the Brown Forman IRBs will be held at the court's Nov. 28 meeting. Courthouse renovation Maintenance Superintendent Rick Wade said the work on the clock tower has been completed, and that earlier in the day, workers began to take down scaffolding around the building. Wade said while some of the remaining work, including a replacement of the roof, is weather-dependent, he still hopes the $1 million project will be complete by the second or third week of November. Shyrocks Ferry Road The court voted unanimously to set a public hearing date of Dec. 12 to discuss the discontinuance of the end of Shryocks Ferry Road, which was requested by a private property owner there. Before that, three public notices will be posted within a mile of the site and two "viewers" will be appointed by the court to visit the site. Magistrates were given letters by Road Engineer Buan Smith and one from Versailles Public Works Director Bart Miller confirming that the property owners would give city workers access to the raw water intake station there. Lower Clifton demolitions The court voted unanimously to accept a low bid of $17,650 from Rock Trucking, LLC, of Clay City for the demolition of two buildings involved in the FEMA's Severe Repetitive Loss Program. The program is designed to buy out frequently flooded properties. Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler said a federal grant will pay for the work. Other first readings The court voted unanimously to hold first readings on two ordinances that originated in the Ordinance Committee, which is chaired by Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7): * An ordinance amending present law regarding county ownership and maintenance of existing stormwater detention/retention areas, which also establishes a maintenance fee. * A nuisance ordinance that Gill said would beef up present "no teeth" laws that residents of areas outside Midway and Versailles had complained about. Animal control Animal Control Director Susan Jones received the court's permission to bypass the usual hiring process for a new animal control officer after telling them that one of her employees was injured and the other quit without notice. Reed noted that Tuesday was Jones's birthday, and Judge-Executive John Coyle joked that the court's vote was their birthday gift to her.