More county roads to be blacktopped

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Additional $300,000 earmarked for blacktopping roads

By Calen McKinney

Residents will soon see some more blacktopped roads in Taylor County, after magistrates voted to spend an additional $300,000 to blacktop roads in the community.

During Tuesday night’s regular Taylor County Fiscal Court meeting, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers asked magistrates if they want to spend additional money on blacktopping.

Magistrate Richard Phillips said he believes the idea is a good one.

Magistrate Tommy Corbin made a motion to spend the extra money, which Phillips seconded.

Blacktopping is being done now and Rogers said he hopes the extra $300,000 worth can be completed before blacktopping is stopped for winter.

After the meeting, Rogers said $300,000 was earmarked for blacktopping in the current fiscal year’s budget.

The county also received about $450,000 in funding from the state to pay for blacktopping, he said. The additional $300,000, Rogers said, will be taken out of the county’s general fund.

He said the roads most needing blacktopping will be done first and magistrates will then be asked how they believe the additional money should be spent.

Animal Shelter Contract
Magistrates agreed to make an offer to Green County to house its stray animals at $50 each per year. The current rate is $15.

The shelter contracts with LaRue, Russell, Green and Casey counties to house the counties’ stray animals. Current contracts will expire Jan 1.

Rogers said LaRue, Russell and Casey counties have been offered a flat rate of $18,500 to house their stray animals at the Taylor County Animal Shelter per year, regardless of how many they bring. He said the three have indicated that they are amenable to that amount.

After Green County officials indicated that they might not be able to afford $18,500 per year, Rogers said, he wants to ask magistrates if they would like to offer the county a rate per animal instead of the $18,500 flat rate.

When looking at how much each animal costs Taylor County per year, Rogers said, the figure adds up to $50.

He said the cost includes $10 for labor, $10 for food, $10 for veterinarian costs, $10 for fuel and $5 each for utilities and shots and other medications.

“That is what it costs us right now,” he said.

Pendleton asked what other counties charge to house animals, to which Rogers said some have flat fees of $22,000 to $25,000 and more.

Bill Durham, Green County’s judge/executive pro tem, said his county likely can’t afford the $50 per animal fee and could have to consider housing its animals elsewhere.

He said Green County brings in about 150 animals to the Taylor County shelter a year. At a contract rate of $18,500 a year, that would equate to more than $123 for each animal for the year. In an effort to be fair, Rogers said, the county could offer Green County a rate of $50 per animal. At $50 per animal, Green County could pay $7,500 a year if it continues to bring in about 150 animals per year. Durham said Taylor County is about 10 miles from his county and he would like to continue to house the animals here if possible. He said, however, that Adair County has offered a price cheaper than $50 per animal. Durham said he would like a price to take to his magistrates for discussion.

Taylor County Animal Shelter Director John Harris said Russell County, which the county began a contract with only a few months ago, could bring in about 500 animals a year. Casey and Larue counties bring in about 360 each per year.

Corbin said all of the counties aren’t treated the same if some bring in 500 animals and others 300, but are each charged the same $18,500 flat fee. Rogers said some counties charge much more per year to house animals.

Phillips said he believes the county should do what it can to help Green County, which he referred to as a “brother county” to Taylor County. He said he believes the county should offer Green County a rate of $50 per animal.

Durham said he can’t decide whether to take the offer without speaking to Green County’s magistrates.

“It’s not that we’re trying to make money,” Pendleton said.

“But we sure can’t lose it,” Phillips said.

Corbin made a motion to offer Green County the $50 rate, which Phillips seconded and was unanimously approved.

Recycling Agreement
Magistrates have agreed to partner with Green County to accept and sell the recycled items residents collect.

Greensburg City Council Member Ed Gorin asked magistrates to consider allowing Green County to bring its recycled items to the Taylor County Recycling Center for bailing and sale, with Taylor County getting half of the profit.

Gorin said Green County currently accepts recycled materials one Saturday each month, but might increase that to two because of increased interest.

Rogers asked how Taylor County officials will be able to calculate how many pounds of items Green County brings.

Magistrate Ed Gorin said the items Green County brings could be set aside and then estimated as to their weight.

Council member Gorin said Green County doesn’t have scales and therefore can’t weigh the items brought to Taylor County. He said he doesn’t have a problem with accepting payment based on estimated weight.

Rogers said he wants to be sure each party is treated fairly in the situation.

If magistrates agree, all materials from Green County will come to the Taylor County Recycling Center already sorted and staff members will only have to bail the items and prepare them for sale.

Magistrate Matt Pendleton asked if splitting the proceeds equally is customary for an agreement like this.

Magistrate Gorin said he believes entities bringing the materials have often received 80 percent of the revenue, with the remaining 20 going to the entity selling the items.

Magistrate John Gaines asked if the county will need to enter into an official agreement with Green County. Phillips said he believes an opt-out clause will be necessary in any agreement.

County Attorney John Bertram said he doesn’t believe an official agreement is necessary, only the understanding that Green County could stop bringing items at any time and Taylor County could stop accepting them any time.

Council member Gorin said he is satisfied with that arrangement.

Pendleton made a motion to begin accepting items from Green County, which Phillips seconded and was unanimously approved.

For more from Tuesday’s meeting, see the Monday, Oct. 15, issue.