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Fiscal Court: Roads, Historical Marker, Office Space and more...

The Butler County Fiscal Court met on Monday night, April 14th in its regular session for April. All members were present.

Roger Givens, Butler County Historic Marker Chairman, came before the Court to request partial funding for another historic marker. The marker would commemorate Maurice Hudson Thatcher. Hudson grew up on Tyler Street in Morgantown, and went on to serve in the US House of Representative, the US Senate, and was the first Provincial Governor of Panama. He also served as the President of the Panama Canal Board, the first civilian to hold that post. Thatchers's historic papers are held in the Scottish Rites Temple in Washington, D.C.

Givens said that he wanted to inform the Court of his request for $1,250 ahead of the new budget for fiscal year 2014-15. Givens told the Court he won't need the money until Autumn, and that the Morgantown City Council has already pledged $1,250 for the marker. No action was taken on the request.

Fourth District Magistrate David Whittinghill asked the Court to consider adding White Oak Lane into the county road list. The road, across from Aberdeen Grocery, is approximately 850 feet in length, and fronts 8 homes. Whittinghill said residents want the road added so that snow clearing and salting can happen during winter month. The road has a steep slope where it meets Hwy 231, and Whittinghill said one resident had to "take the ditch" this winter to avoid sliding into traffic.

County Judge-Executive David Fields appointed 5th District Magistrate Keith Daugherty, 1st District Magistrate Stevie Givens, and County Road Supervisor Timmy West to examine the road and report back to the Court.

PVA Angie Pendley asked the Court to consider letting her expand her office into the space vacated by Butler County Dispatch when they moved to their new facility. Pendley said her office needs the space and that she has enough money in her budget to pay for the project. The PVA also asked that the rest of the vacated space be converted into a break room for county employees.

County Attorney Dick Deye told the Court that it has the authority to decide how Courthouse space is used. David Whittinghill moved to approve the PVA office expansion and break room, with Stevie Givens seconding. The motion passed 5-0.

The Court was next addressed by Chad Johnson of Chad's Wrecker Service. Johnson had requested to speak to the Court concerning a disputed wrecker bill which was left unpaid after the Court's March meeting.

The bill stemmed from Johnson's towing of a county snow plow on March 5th. Johnson was called to tow a disabled snow plow, and the recovery required Johnson to use a 30-ton wrecker, an extra worker, and five hours labor. He also told the Court that he brought a 20-ton wrecker to the scene originally, but had to get his biggest wrecker because the plow was loaded with salt and too heavy for the smaller wrecker. Johnson said he did not charge the county anything for bringing the first wrecker to the job.

At the March meeting the Court put off paying the bill to get more information on the recovery, and why the bill totaled $1,500.

Johnson explained his charges on Monday night, then entered into an exchange with County Judge-Executive David Fields about the charges. Johnson said that after making an open records request for wrecker bills that he found his average charges to be in line, or cheaper, than other services on the rotating county list. Johnson asked Fields, who used to own a wrecker service, if all his bills and jobs were the same. He also showed Fields and the Court samples of the Kentucky State Police wrecker rates, which are significantly higher than what Johnson charged the County.

Fields explained to Johnson that the County was drawing up a rate sheet for various recovery jobs, based on the size of the vehicle to be recovered.

Later in the meeting payment of Johnson's bill was approved as part of monthly bills and transfers. No action was taken on the size guidelines for the towing list rate sheet.

In other business the magistrates approved participation in County Cleanup Days on April 24-26. The Court accepted operating assistance in the amount of $314,400 from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for Reed's Ferry and Rochester Ferry. An insurance pass-through payment to the 2nd District Fire Department for $1,367.20 was approved. Approval was given to advertise for bids on crushed stone, blacktop, and other road supplies.

The addition of Hana's Lane to the County Road list was approved, along with participation in the 2014 KACO salt auction. The Court approved a net profit refund to Casco Products Corporation in the amount of $21,200.00, and approved the transfer of the 2013-14 road allocation of $128,000. County Judge was also authorized to approve an environmental study about mussels at the proposed sites of boat ramps on the Green River at Leonard Oak. The Judge will handle the study in conjunction with Jason Baker of Bryant Engineering.

Janitorial contract bids were examined. Three bids were received. Shirley Neighbors and Teresa Forshee each bid $24,000 per year, and Cleaning Done Right bid the job at $1,850.00 per month, for an annual bid of $22,200. Sheriff Scottie Ward told the Court that Shirley Neighbors, who cleans the Courthouse now, does an excellent job, and much better than others who have cleaned in the past.

After some discussion Stevie Givens asked if the Court could postpone action on the bids until references could be gathered. No action was taken.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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