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Magisterial district boundaries could see a change

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Residents also complain about neighbors' yards and garbage

By Calen McKinney

Taylor County residents could see a change in which magistrate represents them next month.

Those in charge of reapportioning magisterial districts based on 2010 Census data say there will likely be some changes in the boundaries.

Magistrates discussed the reapportionment during last Tuesday's regular meeting of the Taylor Fiscal Court.

At the meeting, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers told magistrates that the Lake Cumberland Area Development District can help the local committee with the work at a cost of $800.

Rogers said if the LCADD helps the committee, that group might only have to meet once instead of several times.

He said the LCADD can do the work much easier by using its GPS data of the county. A local committee must still make a recommendation to the Court as to any changes to district boundaries, however.

Magistrate James Jones made a motion to ask the LCADD to assist the local committee, which Magistrate Tommy Corbin seconded and was unanimously approved.

At last month's meeting, magistrates appointed Kenneth Pierce, Dr. Jerry Kibbons and Caroline Whitley to a committee to oversee the reapportionment. Magistrates agreed to pay the committee members $300 each for their service.

Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney said last week that the committee will meet on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Taylor County Courthouse to discuss possible changes to the district boundaries.

Carney said GPS data wasn't available to the committee that used the 2000 Census data to study the districts. The LCADD is helping other counties with their reapportionment, he said, and contracting with the group is money well spent.

"It takes away some possibility of human error," he said.

Carney said the GPS data will save time in the process, and possibly save the county money by not needing the committee as much.

Neal Cundiff, associate director for planning at the LCADD in Jamestown, said his office will use computer data to draw in the county's magisterial districts and count the number of residents.

He said that process is under way, and there are already potential changes that will be presented to the committee next week for its consideration.

The committee is expected to present its complete findings to magistrates at the July 12 meeting of Fiscal Court. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Taylor County Courthouse and is open to the public.

 

Complaints

Rogers told magistrates that he and several other county employees receive calls on a regular basis from residents reporting lawns that haven't been mowed or garbage on property. He said the county isn't insured to mow or clean private property.

Magistrate Ed Gorin said that the Court agreed in 2009 that it would no longer mow for residents. He said he would like the Court's Sanitation and Environmental Committee to study the current nuisance ordinance and add more "teeth" to it.

Unless someone files a written complaint about garbage or a lawn, he said, there is nothing that the county can do.

Taylor County resident Kathleen Fletcher spoke to the Court about a yard in her neighborhood that is rarely mowed. She said letters have been written to the homeowner about the problem.

"I'm not trying to throw them out of the neighborhood," she said. "I'm just trying to get them to mow their yard."

Rogers said some residents have said they don't want to become involved in the formal complaint process, and without countywide zoning, policing such nuisances is difficult.

County Attorney John Bertram said he encourages those who would like to report a nuisance situation to write a letter to Rogers' office. For those who may not want their names associated with written complaints, he said they can anonymously report the situation and then it can be formally reported by a county official.

Currently, he said, the county can hire someone to address the issue and then bill the homeowner. If the bill isn't paid, Bertram said, a lien can be placed on the property. However, he said, there is a risk that the county could never see repayment.

Bertram said he will meet with the Committee and report back to the Court.


Vandalism

Rogers told magistrates that vandals recently caused damage at the County Road Department's building.

He asked magistrates to consider approving the purchase of four security cameras to monitor the area. The cameras will cost $500, he said.

The cameras, which will include night vision capability, will be mounted in plain sight.

Magistrate Ed Gorin made a motion to approve the purchase, which Magistrate John Gaines seconded and was unanimously approved.

Gaines said he would like to also consider installing such cameras where street signs are notoriously stolen in the county. Rogers said he would research the cost.

 

Also at the meeting:

  • The Court made several appointments. Larry "Fella" Wilson was appointed as a replacement for Barry Smith on the Taylor County Air Board. A Tebbs Bend Nature Board was created with six members appointed, including Billy Fudge, Dr. Richie Kessler, Clarence "Frog" Wilson, Betty Jane Gorin-Smith and Magistrates Ed Gorin and Richard Phillips. Rigo Flores of Best Western and Steve McCarty from Druther's were appointed to the Campbellsville/Taylor County Tourism Board for three-year terms.
  • Phillips presented a report from the Court's Planning, Parks and Recreation Committee meeting last Monday. He said the group agreed to install a Veterans Memorial Park sign that is visible from the road on the roof of the new restrooms. The sign will cost $1,200. Magistrates unanimously approved the Committee's request. Also at that meeting, the Committee discussed repairs to another sign at the park, the status of new scoreboards, the use of equipment, making the entrance to the park wider and possibly offering Campbellsville Baptist Church - the group that operates the park for the county - a three-year lease. Phillips said at the meeting that he wouldn't be opposed to that as long as it doesn't extend beyond the next magisterial election. Though there was discussion on those issues, no other recommendations came from the meeting.
  • Rogers told the Court that many tourists came to Taylor County recently for the Bass Federation's Southern Division Championship bass tournament at Green River Lake. He said the people shopped in local stores, ate at local restaurants and were complimentary of the community.
  • The Court approved the required five-year certification of two local agricultural districts in which several residents own land.
  • Magistrates approved minor changes to the Taylor County Sheriff's Office tax settlement. Rogers didn't elaborate on the changes since magistrates were given a copy of them to study.
  • Magistrates had first reading of a 35 mph speed limit on Wilson Creek Road.
  • Rogers told the Court that he has received approval for work to install bridges on Merrimac Peck Road and Raikes Hill Road.
  • Magistrates agreed to place a "We Love Our Children" sign on Heather Lane. The sign, according to Gaines, is intended for motorists to realize that there are children in the area.
  • Taylor County Animal Shelter recently released its May activity report. The report includes 195 animals accepted. Of those, 30 were adopted, 10 were redeemed by their owners, five were given to potential families for three-day trials and 77 were euthanized. Donations totaled $535.
  • Magistrates approved several budget amendments and transfers. The Court approved first reading of three amendments, including moving $675,973.31 in line items in the general fund, $246,926.86 in line items in the road fund and $44,448.64 in line items in the jail fund. Two transfers were approved, including $626.69 from the illegal dump fund to the general fund and $6.78 from the general fund to the fire protection fund.
  • Nearly $3.3 million has been collected in occupational taxes this fiscal year. About $40,500 was collected since the Court's meeting in May.

 

Current magistrates and their districts:

  • Republican James Jones is magistrate in the 1st District. The 1st District contains the Oak Hill-Popular Grove, Saloma/Willowtown and New North precincts.
  • Democrat John D. Gaines is magistrate in the 2nd District. The 2nd District contains the Spurlington, East, New East and New City East precincts.
  • Republican Tommy Corbin is magistrate in the 3rd District. The 3rd District contains Acton, Speck, Mannsville/Merrimac and Old South.
  • Republican Matt Pendleton is magistrate in the 4th District. The 4th District contains Elk Horn-Yuma, Ireland/Irene-Romine and New South.
  • Republican Ed Gorin is magistrate in the 5th District. The 5th District contains the New West, New City West and Old West precincts.
  • Republican Richard Phillips is magistrate in the 6th District. The 6th District contains Pleasant Hill, Old North and New City North.