LOUISA, Ky. — Members of the Lawrence County Fiscal Court didn’t take much time in deciding to accept a proposal by attorney Tish Chaffin at Tuesday morning’s regular June meeting.
Ms. Chaffin told the court members that according to calculations by her company, Lawrence County stands to receive $1.3 million of a pot holding $26 billion made up of counties in Ky and W.Va. who have banded together to save court costs and lawyer fees.
The state will get 50% of the funds and the counties who are participating in the MOA will split the other 50%.
The decision to join the consortium was made by the previous court two years ago after Pheizer and other drug companies decided to settle lawsuits filed against them for intentionally sending literally millions of pain pills to Appalachia in recent years.
Mrs. Chaffin said there will be restrictions on how the money can be spent and the county would need to work with the city of Louisa on how the funds will be used on drug abuse prevention.
“The attorney general’s office will be suggesting ideas on how to best spend the money locally to fight the drug problems,” Mrs. Chaffin said. “And the county and city can come up with their own innovative ideas that meet the standards.
Motion was made by Magistrate Rick Blackburn and second by Mike Halcomb and the vote was unanimous to enter into the MOA. Mrs. Chaffin added that the first of the money could show up by November 1.
In a loaded agenda the county also:
1. Opening Prayer
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Call Meeting to Order
4. Approve Minutes of the May 18, 2021, Meeting.
5. Approve 2nd Reading of FY21/22 Budget
6. Approve 2nd Reading of Budget Amendment #5
7. Approve Emergency Amendment # 6
8. Approve Treasurer’s Request
9. Approve Bills
10. Approve Treasurer’s Report
11. Approve Zoning Ordinance Index Corrections
Approved Resolution HB 192 Soccer Field Grant ($40,000 for the soccer field)
Approved Resolution HB 192 LC Park Improvement Grant ($90,000 for the county park system for improvements at the Yatesville lake park.) One of the goals of the court is to add more campsites and create a ‘Wild West’ town for visitors.
Approved Resolution HB 192 Fallsburg Community Center Grant ($20,000 for park)
Approved Resolution HB 192 Blaine Community Grant ($20,000 for park)
Approved Resolution HB 192 Chapman Park Grant ($10,000 for park)
Approved Resolution HB 192 Stella Moore Grant ($20,000 for park)
Approved Resolution LWCF Grant for Soccer Field ($100,000)
Approved Resolution HB 192 County Fairground Grant ($20,000)
Approved Resolution for AML Grant to Construct Lodge at Yatesville lake ($5 million)
Reviewed Administrative Code and set salaries. All salaries are the same as last year for employees and the elected officials only get a 1.5% cost of living raise.
These grant numbers are what the county is seeking from the state government as grants.
Approved COL for Elected Officials
Approved 4th of July Donation to city of Louisa ($1,000).
Took at least 45 minutes to open bids for all types of lumber, gravel and other materials used by the road county.
Low bid on the greatest portion of the sizes of gravel was by Jeff Kinzer of Big Sandy Resources in Louisa, but the court voted to also accept the bid of Hansen Enterprises because Jude/Executive Phillip Carter said the county wanted a backup in case Kinzer’s trucks are down.
“We want to do business with you (talking to Kinzer) and we are but we want an alternative in case the gravel you send is not good, during the last year we’ve seen a lot of brown gravel (sandstone) in your mixes,” Carter said.
Kinzer shot back that he can prove there is not sandstone in his gravel. “We get our products from the same quarry everyone else around here does and that brown is not sandstone,” Kinzer said. “It is part of the gravel and is limestone, I can prove it.”
He said he does not feel the county should award any part of the bid to anyone except the low bidder. “Last year we’d see their (Hansen) trucks go by and we were sitting there without a load,” Kinzer said. Carter emphasized the county will try to buy it’s gravel from the local (Big Sandy Resources) company but the court unanimously voted to give the bid to both Kinzer and Hansen.
Approved Deed for Town Hill Property to be used for soccer field.
Approved Termination of Beach Agreement with former owner of ‘The Cove’ area at the Yatesville County Park Beach area and the county will take over the operations, if any.
Open Bids on Surplus Items?
At the end of the meeting Carter called for an executive session but did not announce what it was about. He said Amy Burke, an assistant Kentucky Attorney General had requested the session.
The 35 minute meeting in private resulted in a brief statement from the fiscal court.
“At this time Deputy County Attorney Brad Derefield will be representing the county in all its legal affairs until a conclusion is met of current County Attorney Mike Hogan’s predicament.”
The vote was unanimous to follow Ms. Burke’s advice to the letter and that is what the court did until further notice Derefield (age not given) is no stranger to the position having served as deputy CA for several of Hogan’s nearly twenty years in office.
Hogan and his wife, Joy, were indicted recently in connection with payments made from the Child Support Collections fund to Joy Hogan for over $250,000 over a two year period. The multiple count indictment required that Hogan not represent the county during the expected trial.
A representative at the county judge’s office, Michelle Miller, said they did not know about the salaries of Hogan and Derefield. Part of Hogan’s salary comes from the state and part from the county, Judge Phil Carter said. The only comment Carter had on the subject was ‘we did what we had to do’.