Magisterial districts could change

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Tebbs Bend repair bid awarded for $275,000.

By Calen McKinney

Magisterial districts could soon change, after Census results revealed that the Taylor County population is growing.

District boundaries will be examined next month, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers told Fiscal Court members at its regular meeting last Tuesday, based on data from the 2010 Census.

Taylor County was home to 24,512 people on April 1, 2010, according to 2010 Census figures, which is a gain of 1,585 from the 2000 Census.

Rogers said three residents will need to serve on a re-districting committee.

He said he recommends that resident Jerry Kibbons be one of the three because he spoke to the court last year about how magisterial districts are aligned.

Rogers asked that any of the magistrates who have recommendations for the other two individuals to serve on the committee speak to him or Taylor County Clerk Mark Carney.

Carney said last week that he and the committee will meet and study the population of Taylor County and use blocks of Census data to see the number of residents in each magisterial district.

The goal is to keep the districts as equal as possible, with no more than a few percentage points difference in each.

He said a report of the committee's findings will be presented to the Fiscal Court in July for a vote. There will be a time for voters to challenge the committee's recommendation, he said.

After the 1990 Census, Carney said, there were some changes made to the second and third magisterial district boundaries.

Carney said this year's redistricting process may not change the boundaries at all, but he believes new subdivisions created during the past 10 years may cause some of the lines to shift.

He said he doesn't know if the committee members will be paid for their service, though he says they may have five to six meetings.

Carney said this is his first magisterial redistricting since he has served as Taylor County Clerk.

He said he isn't sure why the county was broken into six magisterial districts but that there have been six magistrates for many years.


Tebbs Bend bids

Magistrates awarded a bid for repairs to Tebbs Bend Road to B and B Excavation of Campbellsville at a cost of $275,000. Bids were opened during a special meeting earlier this month and ranged from $275,000 to nearly $435,000.

Last May's flooding caused damage to Tebbs Bend Road, which is a historical site and brings tourists to the community.

The county has received a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to make the repairs. However, a condition of the grant requires the county to contribute a 25 percent match in either cash or in-kind services. Of the $275,000, the county will be responsible for $68,750.

The cost of repairs was originally estimated at as much as $400,000. The NRCS said it would pay for up to $300,000, with the County paying any remaining costs.

Rogers said during Tuesday's meeting that he has reviewed the bids and only found two concerns - one company said its design could change as the project developed and another said final landscaping would have to be done by another company at a cost of about $8,000.

Magistrate Matt Pendleton said he believes all the bids contain a proposal to fix the damage, and, as such, he made a motion to approve the lowest bid. Magistrate James Jones seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

NRCS officials will now evaluate the bid from B and B Excavating.

The work to Tebbs Bend Road is expected to be completed in June. A portion of the road will be closed beginning Wednesday.


Flood plain ordinance

Magistrates gave final approval to a flood plain ordinance that amends the current ordinance by adding national flood insurance program standards.

Under the county's current ordinance - and the one that had been proposed by FEMA officials - those who would like to build in a flood plain have to get a state and local permit.

Magistrates had first reading of FEMA's flood plain ordinance at last month's meeting. Though they gave it initial approval, they said they have some concerns about its provisions.

Chris Hart, the state national flood insurance coordinator, spoke to magistrates at that meeting and said the FEMA ordinance contains its regulations as well as state requirements.

Concerns about the FEMA ordinance centered on whether someone who has property that borders a flood plain could build on their property. There was also talk about the penalties for not getting such a permit and how homes would be checked for compliance.

After much discussion, magistrates said they would like to create their own flood plain ordinance. If magistrates wanted to do that, Hart said, they would be the first community to not adopt the FEMA-written ordinance.

At last month's meeting, magistrates asked Taylor County Attorney John Bertram to take the county's current flood ordinance and simply add the required state and federal regulations. On Tuesday, Bertram said he has done that.

Bertram said the next step will be to send the county's ordinance to get approval from Hart and FEMA.

The county's current flood ordinance states that a permit is required to build in a flood plain and that a penalty of $100 or 30 days in jail, or both, can be imposed for violating its provisions. The ordinance also outlines the process of getting a building permit. Fred Waddle was the county's judge/executive when the ordinance was approved.


Also at the meeting:

  • Magistrates accepted county road aid funding for road work and bridge repairs. Rogers said the Court doesn't know how much it will receive for blacktopping yet but will receive about $62,500 for bridge repairs.
  • Magistrates gave their approval to the 2010 Taylor County Sheriff's Office tax settlement. According to the report, there was about $12 in discrepancies in the county's taxing districts tax totals.
  • A salt bid was awarded to a Detroit company at a cost of $75.70 a ton. Rogers said the county hasn't worked with the company before and he isn't sure where it is located.
  • Magistrates approved the monthly county employee status report. Bobby Gribbins was transferred at the Taylor County Animal Shelter from temporary to part-time status on Feb. 24. At the Taylor County Detention Center, Jeff Parsons was hired as a temporary employee on Feb. 28, Tonya Ferrie on March 13 and Rhonda Parks and Aubrey Robinson on March 21.
  • The monthly requests for road work were approved, with magistrates asking for repairs to potholes, tile work, signing and work to gravel roads.
  • Taylor County Animal Shelter Director John Harris provided a February activity report to magistrates, which includes 135 animals taken in. Of those, 14 were returned to owners, 24 were adopted, two were given to potential families for three-day trials and 113 were euthanized. Donations totaled $461.
  • Magistrates approved three budget amendments and two transfers. The Court had second reading of an amendment moving $202,150.76 in several line items in the general fund. They had first reading of moving $210,465.22 in general fund line items and $3,900 from the ASAP federal grant to the program support line item.
  • Magistrates approved the transfer of $8,649.62 from reserve to salt and supplies, tile and tire line items in the road fund and $8,000 from reserve and lieutenant line items to uniforms, telephones and salaries.
  • The Court approved four proclamations. April was named Child Abuse Prevention Month, Spring Cleanup Month and Fair Housing Month. Arbor Day was proclaimed for Friday, April 29. Rogers encouraged the community to participate in the PRIDE cleanup this month.
  • Nearly $2.4 million has been collected in occupational taxes this fiscal year. About $152,000 has been collected since the Court's February meeting.