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BC Fiscal Court: Budget, Rescue Squad, and Roads

Butler County Judge Executive David Fields

The Butler County Fiscal Court met in regular session for May on Monday night, May 12th. All members were present, along with some interested visitors.

After the meeting was called to order County Attorney Dick Deye asked County Judge-Executive David Fields if the Court would have a special session before the next regular meeting in June. Fields said that a meeting could be called, and asked Deye if he needed to be added to the agenda for the Monday meeting.

Deye explained that he would need to go into closed session, and that he was not prepared to do so on Monday night. Fields said a special session could be called at a later date. Deye did not elaborate about the particulars of the matter, and no formal action was taken.

The magistrates next approved the first reading of the fiscal year 2014-15 budget. Magistrates were given a copy of the budget last month. The measure passed 5-0 without discussion. Following that action the magistrates voted 5-0 to approve standing orders for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Next, members of the Butler County Rescue Squad spoke to the Court. Assistant Chiefs Todd Williams and Brandon Keown, along with Secretary Treasurer June Howard came before the Court to ask for funding assistance for the Squad.

Williams spoke first, outlining the duties and needs of the Rescue Squad. He told the Court that the Rescue Squad is the only volunteer department in the county that covers the entire county. He stated that the Squad responds to a variety of different emergency calls including; accidents, search and rescue, and water search and rescue.

According to Williams much if the Squad's extrication equipment is old and in need of replacement. He said the Squad is also in need of eight extrication suits at the cost of $485 each.

Williams told the Court that the City of Morgantown will give the squad $5,000.00 in the next fiscal year, and asked the Fiscal Court for the same funding. Judge Fields told Williams that the budget has already been written for fiscal year 2014-15, and that it includes $3,500.00 in funding for the Rescue Squad. He also stated that the current budget's 3,500.00 allotment for the Squad hasn't been used.

After some discussion Williams and Keown agreed to give regular reports to the Court, and to make an effort to work more closely with the County. No action was taken by the Court.

Sheriff Scottie Ward asked to speak on behalf of the Rescue Squad. Ward told the Court that the help of the Rescue Squad is invaluable to his department. "It would be almost impossible for my office to operate without their help," said Ward. He cited their help with searches, and especially at accident scenes.

In other business the Court approved the appointments of Roger Southerland and Becky Hankins to the Butler County Tourism Board. They approved a payment of $645.00 to the Provo RD Club, accepted $2,390.85 from the County Clerk for motor vehicle and boat bills, approved a $500.00 insurance deductible payment to the Butler County Sheriff's Office, approved the first reading of an ordinance to add White Oak Lane to the county road list, and approved minor name changes to county roads as suggested by BRADD. Magistrates also approved the yearly payment to Butler County from the Administrative Offices of the Court (AOC). The AOC will pay the county $48,054.48 in 2014-15.

County Road Supervisor Timmy West reported to the Court about road maintenance. He said that right of way cutting was finished over the winter, and that cutting should go much faster now. He said that crews are currently working on ditches and culverts, and have been mowing since April 28th. He said that all road should be mowed by Memorial Day weekend.

West said that the harder than normal winter had led to damage to chip seal roads, and that patching is underway. He said that potholes were also an issue after the bad winter.

West also told the Court that almost 73-tons of garbage was collected during City/County Cleanup Days last month. West said that is almost double what was collected in 2013. West reported that the county's new recycling bins had been emptied once. He told the Court that Tracy Hack of Star-Tek Recycling recommended that the county start collecting and bailing plastics, and that large quantities of bailed plastics could be sold. No action was taken on the suggestion, but it was taken under advisement.

4th District Magistrate David Whittinghill brought two matters before the Court. First, Whittinghill said the State Transportation Cabinet is working on Highway 70. He reported that ahead of other maintenance the State is working on approaches and culvert ends. Whittinghill suggested the county let the State cut fill dirt of of county right of ways where the dirt removal would aid with visibility. After consulting with County Attorney Dick Deye it was agreed the State could remove the dirt with no action needed from the Court.

Whittinghill's other item of business concerned the Lock 5 bridge. Whittinghill said the bridge needs to be checked and possibly updated. He suggested trying to get 80/20 matching funds for the project, similar to what was used to fund the McKendree Chapel Road bridge project. Tim West suggested that if major changes were made to the Bridge that the Court should consider moving the bridge to take a curve out of the approach to the bridge.

Judge Fields said the Corps of Engineers would need to be consulted about the potential project. He said he would contact the proper officials to inquire about funding. No action was taken. The meeting was then adjourned.

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