Court cancels Jouett hemp program
Woodford Fiscal Court Tuesday voted unanimously to cancel a hemp pilot program that would have brought the crop back to a place where it was grown when Jack Jouett was alive.
The move came about as a result of the resignation of Jill Roseberry, executive director of the Jack Jouett House. Roseberry’s departure is scheduled forMarch 4, and Judge-Executive John Coyle and several magistrates wondered whether Roseberry’s replacement would be on-board with the program.
Roseberry had worked on various applications for the program for many months and other officials, including Coyle, had to sign off on some of them. She said an orientation by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture was scheduled for Feb. 22, and if the court decided to continue the program with changes, they would have to notify the department by Thursday, Feb. 15 or pay a $750 fee. Coyle and Magistrate Jackie Brown (Dist. 8) were against the idea of moving forward without an executive director in place.
Roseberry, who lives in the guest house on the property, offered to remain as caretaker if that would help convince the court not to withdraw from the program. Magistrate Mary Ann Gill (Dist. 7) said it would be good to have a caretaker on the property and Magistrate Ken Reed (Dist. 4) agreed.
Roseberry said a group called the Hempsters that has overseen hemp pilot programs at several other historic sites would be happy to do so at the Jack Jouett House.
Eventually, the court voted unanimously in favor of a motion to end participation in the program this year.
Hemp, a cousin of marijuana with no psychoactive properties, was once a staple of Kentucky agriculture. Backers say the crop can help make up for the loss of tobacco dollars.
The Jouett hemp program was approved for a 100-square-foot plot on the property.
In other Jouett-related news, Magistrate Duncan Gardiner (Dist. 6), said the Personnel Committee he chairs recommends the job description for executive director require a full-time executive director to live on-site and have a Master’s degree or equivalent experience.
A motion to that effect passed 7 to 1, with Magistrate Gerald Dotson (Dist. 5) voting no.
The court may ask Roseberry to stay on as caretaker at its Feb. 27 meeting.
Road employees needed
Road Engineer Buan Smith received the court’s unanimous permission to advertise for two more full-time employees. Those positions would not require a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Smith said he hasn’t been able to fill two open positions for CDL-equipped employees that were advertised last summer. He said ads for those jobs were run again in The Sun as well as websites for the Bluegrass Area Development District, Kentucky Community and Technical College System and Bluegrass Community and Technical College System campus.
Smith also asked the court’s permission to either close the boat ramp at the end of Cummins Ferry Road during winter or post a sign telling boaters that minimal maintenance of the ramp would be offered then. Brown, whose district the ramp is in, objected, and the court took no action.
Smith had said that the steep ramp is difficult to maintain during the winter, when there wasn’t much activity there.
Gill handed out copies of a proposed ordinance reforming the county’s animal protection and related laws that she’d worked on with animal control officer Susan Jones and others. Gill said the proposal, which is scheduled to receive a first reading at the court’s next meeting, has been sent to Versailles Mayor Traugott, who’s spoken of passing new protections for animals. Gill said she’ll send it to Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift after she hears from Traugott.
County Attorney Alan George said it would be preferable to have uniformity in the county’s animal-related ordinances. Calvert memorial plaque
The court unanimously approved a motion to place a plaque honoring Mack Calvert, a longtime radio announcer and presence in Woodford County sports, at the entrance of the Community Stadium press box. Calvert, who also taught and served as a sports editor and photographer for The Sun, diedDec. 31.
After an hour, the court went into executive session to consider a possible land purchase and personnel issue. After 70 minutes, members emerged and approved a motion accepting possession of a property on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that did not receive a bid in a recent master’s commissioner sale. The county already owned 53 percent of the undeveloped lot from unpaid taxes, and George said the private company that had foreclosed on it deeded the rest to the county.